Barrington Irving tells students to ‘Dream & Soar’

LAS VEGAS — Barrington Irving, the first black pilot to fly solo around the world — when he was just 23 — will present his inspirational message of pursuing one’s dreams to 400 students and VIP guests from Rancho High School on Oct. 23.

Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson will also be speaking about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

Irving made his epic flight in 2007, becoming, at that time, the youngest pilot to accomplish the feat, breaking seven speed and distance records on his 97-day trip.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc. (MHIA) is sponsoring Irving in the nationwide “Dream & Soar” program, through which he has presented his inspirational message to more than 12,000 students across the United States over the last five years.

Yoshiyuki Ishii, CEO and president of MHIA, will also be speaking at the Rancho High School event.

In addition to this event at the school, Irving will also be attending the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Oct. 22-24.

“I believe that this event will allow me to get my educational and motivational message out to the students at Rancho High School and to introduce them to careers in aviation,” he said. “I want to show them that pursuing a career in this exciting industry can enable them to realize their dreams — just as I did.”

“It’s very exciting for our students to have the opportunity to engage with Mr. Barrington as he recounts his journey achieving his dream,” said Thompson. “With the aid of STEM, many students like Mr. Irving, will be prepared to follow their own dreams and compete for post secondary endeavors including scholarships, college admission, and rewarding future employment opportunities.”

Rancho High School’s Academy of Aviation offers two programs for students interested in aviation and aerospace. It is the only school to offer this type of program in its district and one of a few in the United States. Many of the students at Rancho High School who are attending Irving’s program will also be at the NBAA Convention.

“At Rancho High School, and particularly in our Aviation Academy, we believe in focusing on STEM-related skills and careers,” said Dr. James Kuzma, Principal of Rancho High School. “An education emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and math is critical for students of the 21st century. We greatly look forward to Mr. Irving’s visit as his experience, knowledge, and inspirational story will help motivate our students as they pursue excellence in aviation and aerospace.”

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