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INTERVENTION At the same time, the impact of just one person breaking the cycle of economic hardship can be significant. Ripple effects impact friends, family, and entire communities. One person who succeeds can help and inspire family and friends, give back to a neighborhood, and blaze a new path for others to follow.

One estimate predicts that adding 50 new jobs that non-college-educated males would be qualified to hold in a neighborhood would reduce the crime rate by 4.4 per 1,000 people. A Chicago summer youth jobs program was shown to reduce violence by 43 percent over 16 months, or nearly 4 fewer violent crimes per person.

CHALLENGE According to a recent Brookings Institute study, the majority of economically disadvantaged African-Americans will remain in difficult circumstances throughout their lifetimes. Understandably, there will be continued levels of frustration and despair among disadvantaged and minority populations, unless this challenge is met.

Over one third of Illinoisans are considered low-income or living in poverty. Such people are 206% more likely to be the victims of a violent crime than people with the highest incomes. 384% growth in number of people living in extreme poverty chicago neighborhoods from 2000 to 2012.

AN OPPORTUNITY Meanwhile, the airline industry is desperately in need of pilots and the last generation of pilots has started to retire. But what it takes to become a pilot (the training, the hours, the cost) keeps increasing. In order to keep America flying, the next generation of aspiring pilots will need a significant leg up.

We’ll need to produce a pilot every 15 minutes for the next two decades in order to meet the demand. In that time, airlines will purchase 41,000 new planes and need 637,000 new pilots to fly them, according to a forecast from Boeing.

Enter Tuskegee NEXT.

We are building a premier aviation youth outreach program to enable at-risk youth to obtain pilot’s licenses and start on an aviation career path. Such an effort can be accomplished through supporting the Flight Training, Life Skills, Leadership Development, and Educational Assistance programs of Tuskegee NEXT. This program transforms the lives of at-risk youth, so they can transform their communities and the future of the skies. In our first two years, we have graduated two classes of cadets and built the infrastructure needed to keep growing.


Soloed graduation rate



Completed Private Pilot's License Are accepted to or in college



I remember a Labor Day weekend, when there was a significant amount of shootings being reported on the Chicago news channels. In my heart I knew I had to somehow help and contribute to my city! Whatever I chose to do had to produce real change and offer opportunities to our young people. The next question was, “What do I have in my hands to offer?� I had recently been appointed as the Chairman of the DuPage Aviation Authority. It was reported that there would be an impending shortage of pilots because of the FAA mandatory retirement age of 65. I was very familiar with the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. As I continued to ponder what I could offer, I began to pull all those factions together and developed the concept of Tuskegee NEXT. With the end of our third year of programming, the realization of our audacious vision for Tuskegee NEXT has blown me away! When we began this journey, we knew that we had to not only offer real opportunity to at risk young people, we also knew that the community had to hear and catch the vision as well. To our surprise, we have successfully done both! We could not have made such a significant impact without each of you and your generous gifts. So many of you have given so freely of your time, resources, and talents to see us grow as an organization and touch lives. Our goal is to be even more impactful in the years to come! We are extremely proud of our newest and most ambitious event yet, the Red Tail Ball, held this past April at the DuPage Airport. Our Inaugural Ball was a resounding success! The purpose of our annual Red Tail Ball is to continue to honor the legacy of the original Tuskegee Airmen who fought bravely and valiantly in WWII, highlight current aviation professionals, as well as to raise funds for the next generation of Aviators. This magical evening welcomed 350 guests who dined together, participated in our auction, and danced the night away all while honoring our past and investing in our future. It has been quite a productive year, as we continue to thoughtfully build a solid foundation that will set our course for the future. We are excited about new and exciting partnerships and collaborations as we move forward with excitement for what is to come.


Individual $139,666

Foundation $90,000

Corporation $162,987

INCREASE IN INCOME 400000 350000 300000 250000 200000 150000 100000 50000 0







CADET SPOTLIGHT James Redmond is a proud Tuskegee NEXT alum who earned his private pilot’s license in the 2016 cohort. As a child, James always envisioned himself as a pilot and didn’t let an ounce of self-doubt or apprehension get in the way of his dream. On the recommendation of his U.S. history teacher, James applied to the Tuskegee NEXT program. During the Tuskegee NEXT program, James embodied heart, dedication, discipline, and focus, which propelled him to fulfill his childhood dream and earn his private pilot’s license. For James, the Tuskegee NEXT program was a stepping stone into aviation; it also helped him tap into an inner strength he didn’t know he had. James states: “This program allowed me to see a side of myself I didn’t know I had. I was able to challenge myself, make mistakes and learn from them; to achieve something I wouldn’t have even thought was possible. We were given tools to stretch our wings to soar far above anyone’s expectations. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.” James is currently a freshman at Lewis University, majoring in Aviation Flight Management. With his drive and determination, his next goal is to earn his Commercial Pilot Certification and fly for a corporate or regional airline. “I was able to earn my private pilot’s license in eight weeks. Who knows what I can achieve if I keep up this pace!”

Financial partners William and Mary Davis Foundation Domanda Foundation Wintrust Financial Corporation Chris Sveen FONA Ozinga Joe & Mary Slawek Luke & Megan Slawek

Rose Packaging Aldridge Electric Next Generation Strategies Diamond Carpet Services Meade Electric Ed French Inland Meyers and Flowers Mike Foltz Papa Charlie’s

Duane Hayden Inspera Health CH2M Infrastructure Engineering J.A. Watts, Inc. MB Financial Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Steven Whitney

OUR Year



The Red Tail Ball has two aims: honor the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, and raise funds for the next generation of aviators. And what a night! Our inaugural ball had 350 guests present for an energy-filled evening that surpassed our financial goal, which is enabling the mission of Tuskegee NEXT to be achieved.

This past summer marked the completion of our third year of programming! And what a year. We have been able to make real change, and with your help, we will be able to provide even greater training and encouragement to more cadets in the year ahead.

It’s a bold mission: build a premier aviation youth outreach program to enable at-risk youth to obtain pilot’s licenses and start on an aviation career path. But thanks to very generous donations from supporters like you, it is really happening!

RUN THE RUNWAY Our second annual Tuskegee NEXT Run the Runway event was held at DuPage Airport in West Chicago. Our 5k/10k is always a great community event, and this year it drew 200 people! The event is certified by the U.S. Track and Field Association (USATF) and are always chip timed. In the future, in addition to the 5/10K, a one-mile fun run is planned for the younger runners who want to experience running on a runway.

We are very proud of our pilots, who this year boasted a 100% program completion rate. As you know, our program has three elements: flight training, life skills, and educational assistance. Through these platforms, the young men and women who complete our program are going to be pilots, engineers, community leaders and cycle-breakers.



OPEN HOUSE This year we hosted our first Open House during our summer program. It was a wonderful opportunity to host community members, board members, cadets, and interested young people; and open eyes to the potential of this strategic work.. We rotated the groups through stations that provided aviation education and gave them a glimpse of what our cadets are learning. It was a wonderful day and we cannot wait to do it again next year.

Our graduation ceremony was once again held downtown during the Chicago air and water show at the University Club of Chicago. Our graduation and recognition ceremony is the highlight of our program and celebrates the achievements of our cadets. We saw a 100% completion rate for this graduating class. We welcomed our cadets, their families, and our sponsors to the University Club as we sat high above Michigan Avenue and watched the Blue Angels fly above our building! It was once again a very special event for our program.

AMERICAN AIRLINES When younger kids are exposed to aviation, they are more likely to pursue careers as pilots. This year, American Airlines awarded Tuskegee NEXT a $25,000 grant to expand aviation education to young people as early as eight years old. We are grateful to have a partner like American Airlines that is committed to investing in our youth, and we are working hard to launch this next program in the year ahead.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Stephen L. Davis Founder & President The Will Group, Inc.

David Larson Executive Vice President Wintrust Financial Corporation

Rona Fourte Director, Supplier Diversity Walgreens

Duane Hayden COO/Interim Airport Manager Gary Airport

Luke Slawek President & Chief Operating Officer FONA International

Guido R. Visconti Director of Aviation & Chief Pilot Allstate Insurance Company

Pat Brady Next Generation Strategies

Robert Werderich President Illinois Aviation Academy

Tammera Holmes Founder AreoStar

Montel Gayles Owner & President Gayles Consulting, P.C.

WILL YOU JOIN US? Will you invest in the future of the skies and the transformation of the lives of at-risk urban youth? This cannot happen without strong support from people like you and other visionary entrepreneurs who work to build this concept into an engine for transformation and hope. We are looking for people like you.

PLEASE Join us!

Honoring the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, Tuskegee Next transforms the lives of at-risk youth through aviation education and career path opportunities, so they can transform their communities and the future of the skies.

Tuskegee Next P.O. Box 1061 Wheaton, IL. 60187 Visit us at TuskegeeNext.org Follow us @TuskegeeNext on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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2017 Annual Report | Tuskegee NEXT  

2017 Annual Report | Tuskegee NEXT