High Five

A Harrison High School junior is soaring to new heights

Harrison High School junior Jordan Myers was one of just 200 students to win a $22,500 scholarship to pursue his private pilot’s license. He will attend an accredited university during the U.S. Air Force-sponsored eight-week program this summer. [Courtesy photo/Col. Scott Miller, USAF (Ret).]

Jordan Myers, a cadet with the school’s Air Force Junior ROTC program, is one of just 200 cadets from across the globe selected for a prestigious Flight Academy Scholarship. The award, valued at about $22,500, will allow Myers to attend an accredited aviation university during the summer of 2020. It covers room, board, transportation, academics and flight hours as Myers, 16, works toward a private pilot license. More than 2,575 cadets applied for one of the 200 scholarships.

The program took flight in 2018 at Headquarters Air Force Junior ROTC at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in an attempt to put more pilots in cockpits. The civilian airline industry predicts it will need 117,000 new commercial pilots over the next 20 years, while in 2018, when the program launched, the U.S. Air Force was short some 1,500 pilots to meet its needs.

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Juaquin Mobley understands the stigma. It can be hard, the vice president of programs for Denver Works and Colorado Springs Works said, for young men of color to talk about mental health concerns.

And yet, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, in 2017, the most recent year for which numbers are available, suicide was the second-leading cause of death for African-American youths aged 15 to 24.

That’s part of the reason that Mobley opened The Community Barbershop/Salon, Hub and Pub on Jan. 27 for a community conversation about mental wellness. Dubbed The Black Men’s Project, the inaugural event offered speakers, food, resources and music in a casual, comfortable environment.

It was done in partnership with Another Life Foundation, a Colorado Springs social services organization that connects those living with mental health challenges or suicidal behaviors to resources. Stephanie Green, foundation director, created the project to build an empowering social network for participants while also helping them find the services and organizational support they need.

The Jan. 27 event was the first of four community gatherings she plans to host this year, rotating them throughout different Southeast Colorado Springs salons and barbershops, although Green hopes to grow it to a monthly program in 2021. She also plans to train salon and barbershop staff on communication techniques that could help clients who are struggling to open up.

For more information on the project visit anotherlifefoundation.com/a-black-men-s-project. For immediate crisis assistance, contact the Colorado Crisis Services Hotline at 844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255. Chat services are also available from 4 p.m. to midnight daily at coloradocrisisservices.org.

** Related content:  Community program to  cast light on men’s mental health **

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Sierra High School and Rocky Mountain Women’s Film want to get you running in February … sort of. The pair have teamed to present a screening of the Mark Hayes-directed “Skid Row Marathon.” It is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Sierra auditorium, 2250 Jet Wing Drive.

The 85-minute film tells the story of a criminal court judge who starts a running club on Los Angeles’ skid row. It follows five runners as they rise from homelessness and addiction to run marathons around the world, and celebrates hope, friendship and dignity.

— Regan Foster

To submit an item for the High Five, email a detailed description of the event, including date and location, and photos with identifying information from left to right to features@southeastexpress.org. For more information, call Regan Foster at 719-578-2802.

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