The Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum is a real source of pride for anyone who lives in Compton. Housed at the Woodley Airport since 2001, it is the home of several outstanding youth programs and the first non-profit flight school in the entire country! The youth programs offer kids from the community tutoring, mentoring, and a safe place to be involved after school. Through completing various work projects they earn museum “dollars” that can be applied towards flight instruction. Founder Robin Petgrave has so much to be proud of — his youth pilots have already set more than 7 world records! TAM’s is truly a shining star in our community!
TAM’s history of success and service made it the perfect place for a huge community service event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. The stats from that day are truly impressive — 587 volunteers logged over 2300 service hours that day — cleaning out the airplane hangar, polishing the airplanes, refurbishing the museum wall dedicated to the Tuskegee Airmen, — and painting, painting, painting! The hangar has been chosen as the future site of brand new STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education lab, an initiative of President Obama’s administration. In the future, Compton students can look forward to building planes and wind tunnels, forming a robotics team, and even joining a video gaming design club in that very hangar. It will be another important development in the birthing of a new Compton!
And at the core of it all will be the community spirit that was so evident on January 17th. As I look back over these pictures and reflect on the day, I am struck again by the beauty of people from all backgrounds, races, and ages working ALONGSIDE one another to serve the community. Parents brought their children, the older taught the younger, strangers worked together as though they were family. The children saw adults from our community take pride in what is already here today, with a vision for making it even greater tomorrow. It was a perfect celebration of Dr. King — it’s what his dream was all about.
It’s the community spirit that showed Compton’s greatness that day. It’s the power that will continue Compton’s transformation tomorrow.
It’s what “birthing a new Compton” is all about — and it’s what’s happening on the OTHER side of Compton!
Wow — what a day! And there’s still one more post to go in this series. Please return again to look at Part Three — it will focus on some of the great historians that were present that day.
If you would like to learn more about participating in the program’s of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum, please visit their website at www.tamuseum.org. Come be a part!