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Before he had ever ridden in a plane, he knew. He’d watch them fly overhead and feel a thrill all the way through his bones. When he grew up, he decided, he was going to be a pilot. He was going to fly.

But life is bumpy.

While he was still a teen, Joseph found himself in our care. Parts of him were broken, dreams cast aside, a future no longer imaginable.

How do you heal that?

We know that goals guide and motivate behavior. Research shows that goal setters see future possibilities. In life, they are the ones who soar.

One day, Joseph confided to our counselor about his long ago dream. As they talked, his energy expanded. He became animated, engaged and – for the first time, really – she saw the man he could become.

And so it was that on a beautiful summer day, we took Joseph for his first flying lesson. He learned the basics, reviewed the flight plan, walked through the checklist, then – along with his instructor and our counselor – he
climbed in, buckled up, and took flight.

It lasted only an hour, but it was enough. His dream was back and this time, it felt attainable.

As he flew over the Crystal Coast, Joseph saw a world full of beauty and opportunity. He began to understand that life can be hard but it can also offer a second chance. And he stepped off the plane with a goal: He would do the work and make something positive of his life. He would join the military and become a pilot. He would soar.

10 comment on “Soar

  1. Barrie Lange-Schneithorst

    Such an inspirational story, or should I say the beginning of your aviation story Joseph. I felt a sense of connection coming from an aviation family. There’s this love of flying that goes beyond words… its a feeling, it’s something one sees in the eyes of an aviator. I see it in my Brother, I saw it in my Father, and I can see it in this blog.

    I sooo hope you are following your dream.
    I pray you have and will continue to pursue your dreams!! Goals are obtainable – they can come with hurdles. Just keep on moving forward- you will get there !!

    Keep Soaring

  2. Jacob Canady

    Someone gave me the article you were in and just wanted to provide some encouragement for your dreams. I too wanted to pursue aviation as a career at a young age. I joined the army to become an Army Aviator. I did 6 years in the Army and then got out to fly on the civilian side. I currently fly a helicopter and private jet for a career. I would be happy to share my experience with you and how to pursue a career in aviation with you. You are welcome to contact me.
    Jacob Canady

  3. Rich

    Blessings to you ! My brother is a CFI . It took a while and had work setback with covid but he loves it. I got to solo when I was 16. Still remember that! Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. NANETTE Canady

    Please check out the Army “High School to Flight School Program”. Like you my son wanted to fly since he was a young child. He was accepted in to this program and is now out of the army and is flying for a private company. He will tell you that it was the best thing he ever did . God be with you on your path.

  5. Catherine Warren

    Joseph, do not ever give up your dream. My older brother always dreamed of being a pilot and started lessons at 18; but as often happens, fortunes change. Our parents divorced, life got in the way and he lost sight of his dream. But guess what? At 50 yrs old he went back. He became a licensed pilot. Then an Instructor. Then a licensed commercial pilot and instrucor.
    The point is your dreams are in your hands and Gods. Dont let anyone take them from you. Good luck!

  6. Barbara M

    Way to go, Joseph!!! Love your story, your new-found enthusiasm for your lifelong dream, and your attitude toward and dedication to attaining it! Best of luck in the military and I look forward to having you join the ranks as a civilian pilot afterward – maybe I’ll even get to fly with you someday 🙂

  7. Bonnie

    Good luck with your future as a pilot – work hard and keep your eye on the prize.
    Don’t look back go forward – you can do it!
    Best wishes!

  8. Marilyn Boyce

    Joseph, I’m so proud of you for daring big enough to pursue a childhood dream! Hope we’ll be reading in time to come that you’ve had a solo flight and that you’re on your way to living into your dream. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

  9. Bo Crouse-Feuerhelm

    Way to keep your eye Joseph on your goals to success and not letting what you were born in to or experienced in your earlier years guide your life. I too had a rough start and never have let that define me or stop me from doing what I wanted or interfere with my goals. Wishing you continued success Joseph.

  10. Dennis Jones

    More stories like this is what the community needs to hear of the quality services Methodist Home For Children provide. It’s such a blessing to hear how the young man was able to do what he dreamed of. If you take risks you never know what the outcome could be. -God Bless!!!

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