In February 2012, our Miami community mourned the loss of Trayvon Martin when he was just 17 years old. A high school junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School, Trayvon was a spirited young man who loved aviation and aspired to become an aircraft mechanic and pilot.
For three years, Trayvon spent his after-school hours and weekends participating in a STEM + program called “Build & Soar,” which challenges middle and high school students from various backgrounds to build working aircraft and cars. The program is run by Experience Aviation, a nonprofit group founded by Trayvon’s mentor, Captain Barrington Irving, the youngest person and first black pilot to fly solo around the world.
In his application to “Build & Soar,” Trayvon wrote: “I believe I should be accepted…because I’m very interested in aircrafts and I’m also dedicated and reliable and I like to finish what I start. I strive to be the best that I can be to make myself a better person. . . . I think and hope that this will benefit me towards my future career as an aircraft mechanic/pilot.”
In 2011, Captain Irving challenged Trayvon and his classmates, under the direction of the Experience Aviation teaching staff, to build a race car faster than a Ferrari 430 Spyder. Trayvon worked with his team as the car took shape but never got the chance to finish the assignment.
“It was an honor to mentor Trayvon Martin, an exceptional young man with a good character and strong potential to contribute his talents and skills to the field of aviation,” said Captain Irving. “Though we will never fully recover from the loss of this fine boy who aspired to fly, we’ve created “The Trayvon Racer” project to honor his memory by giving students like him a chance to build a Factory Five GTM, a feat beyond their expectations of what they can accomplish.”
In February 2020, the month Trayvon would have turned 25, Captain Irving, in association with the Trayvon Martin Foundation, will announce the names of 25 middle school students in Miami who will participate in a “Build & Soar” project to honor Trayvon’s memory.
Under Captain Irving’s direction, these students will work together to build the “The Trayvon Racer” over the course of just 12 weeks. The car will be unveiled next spring in Trayvon’s home town of Miami at a celebration attended by teachers and students from local schools, representatives from the Trayvon Martin Foundation, local and national media, and public figures from Miami and beyond.
Please join the “Build & Soar” team as we honor the memory of one of our own! Your contribution will help make a lasting impression on the lives of the 25 students who will build “The Trayvon Racer” and the thousands of students and others who will follow their progress online and in the media. Help us commemorate the memory and legacy of a cherished member of the Experience Aviation family.
Your donation will help cover the following program costs:
The "Trayvon Racer" Manufacturing Kit -Performance Enhancing Car Parts and Accessories
-Engine, Transmission and Independent Rear Suspension Installation
-Aerodynamic Performance Parts
-Car Fluids and Maintenance Supplies
-Building Tools and Equipment
-Redesigned Cooling and Braking Systems
Instructors -Certified ASC Technicians
Student Expenses -Student Transportation and Meals
-Mechanic Outfits and Gear
-Student Awards and Certifications
PLEASE GIVE WHAT YOU CAN - EVERY DONATION IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!
The goals of the program include helping students to: -Develop the skills needed to enter the workforce, including interpersonal, leadership, and written communication skills, as well as a responsible work ethic
-Read and interpret written materials; develop an understanding of vehicle systems and safety procedures; demonstrate proper automotive shop safety practices
-Employ effective critical thinking, decision making, and problem-solving techniques
-Practice the proper use of automotive tools, power tools, and related equipment
-Learn about riveting, sheet metal, engine systems, transmission functionality, internal car components and electrical wiring
-Study vehicle diagnostics, control systems, interior design, and the proper installation of car fluids
-Prepare and execute the processes to do body work, paint, and refinish the vehicle
For more information and to view videos about Captain Barrington Irving, the Build &Soar Program, and Experience Aviation, Inc, please visit:
Build & Soar Mission Statement To enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) engagement and skills for at-risk, disadvantaged students within the community by providing them with an opportunity to engage in cutting edge innovative projects. The goal of the Experience Aviation Automotive Car Build program is to empower students to rise above absentee obstacles, regularly attend automotive classes, learn industry STEM skills and inspire the local community with their accomplishments.