OE - 
Aviation adventure

Once upon a time he met a shoe shine man at the airport. This man, with his shine kit in place, shined the shoes of every pilot that landed at that airport. One day that man said to him: “I want to become a pilot just like you”. Those words stayed with him, like scar tissue.

That man no longer shines other pilot’s shoes. Instead, he fought for what he wanted and became a pilot.

“I transport myself to those years when that man –now my colleague– in spite of all the economic limitations he had, he had a genuine desire to make his dream of becoming a pilot a reality and that is what I want to teach every OE student”, said Carlos Reyes, OE Aviation superhero.

Important figures in history like Malcolm X -one of the most important leaders in the civil rights movement- and Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva not only were shoe shiners at one point in their lives, they also possessed a great deal of responsibility and courage to reach their goals.

For more than six years Reyes’ commitment with the Puerto Rican youth has driven him to be a source of encouragement for them. His gift to these students is a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy an Aviation adventure and have the chance to fly over Puerto Rico’s pristine beaches and  breathtaking sceneries through the north coast. On this adventure flight students learn basic aviation techniques while some have expressed a desire to start studies in aviation.

Since he was a little boy, Carlos saw his father flying planes and at that moment he realized that was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. At the tender age of nine, Carlos was convinced he was ready to fly a bird but it wasn’t until he turned 16 years old that he got his license and started a journey that has giving him the opportunity to be a mentor to many OE students that every semester compete to win such an amazing price.

“When i see these students fight so hard to reach their goals, in this case competing to win the aviation adventure I get overwhelmed with joy”, expressed the veteran pilot with 35 years of experience and director of Isla Grande Flying School & Service Corp.

Carlos never ceases to encourage students to “chase their dreams because the future is theirs. Also, don’t forget the shoe shiner’s example “if you believe it, you can do it”.