Aviation student needs funds to continue soaring
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
JAMAR FORBES* has a 3.76 grade point average (GPA); he is on his aviation school's dean's list and is studying professional pilot technology, a degree not offered in Jamaica.
The 24-year-old, qualified as a commercial pilot at age 22, may not complete his degree at Miami Dade College Aviation School or fly the 1,000 hours he needs before he can be employed, because his sponsor's financial situation has changed drastically.
One of the youngest student pilots to accomplish a commercial licence, young Forbes may never achieve the dream he has had since age four because his parents have used up all their savings, exhausted their loan concession and the sole breadwinner, his father, has been out of a job for the past year.
"His father's job was restructured in the government service and we have launched a start-up business which is in its early stage of operation and have not been able to assist him in school," his mother Beverly Forbeslamented, trying to fight back the tears in her voice as she made an urgent appeal for support.
Their banner headline has the inscription, "Help Jamar finish college and pilot school".
Forbes' achievements have earned him written commendation from his college president, Eduardo Padron, who stated, "your performance demonstrates a superior level of academic success".
Described as a natural pilot by his instructors, Jamar, who was born in Kingston, needs basic school fees and living expenses for the academic year, August 2014 to May 2015 of US$25,600. Additionally, his flight instruction fees are US$10,700.
These two amounts, totalling US$36,300, will enable him to complete his associate degree in professional pilot technology, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifications to instruct student pilots.
"The fall semester cost is US$19,700 covering academic, living, and FAA Certified Flight Instructor certification," he said, noting that any Jamaican living in South Florida (Miami or Kendal) who may be able to offer him housing for the next year while he is in school would help in easing his burdens.
"Jamar has never failed any of his aviation exams and is a focused student. In his summer holidays last year, he taught aviation to high-school students from several schools, in a programme at Jamaica College," revealed Mrs Forbes.
Accordingly, he also volunteered to teach a summer programme for small children at Caribbean Aviation Technology College at Tinson Pen aerodrome.
A caring heart
Jamar has also taught mathematics to underprivileged boys at the YMCA.
"He has a social conscience and cares about the welfare of others," said his mom.
Jamar said he has applied for a scholarship at his present school, but as a transfer student from pilot school to college, he was not eligible.
Mr and Mrs Forbes said assistance can be in the form of cash or kind, for example:
Donation to school fee - US dollar money orders made out to Miami Dade College; lodgement and wire transfer to Bank of America account # 898053134452 for paper and electronic routing number 063100277, and wire transfer routing number 026009593; Jamaican dollar lodgement to Bank of Nova Scotia Account# 800385 with routing number 50765-002.
Room accommodation near Tamiami or Miami International Airports transportation or books.
*Names changed by request