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Tucker builds youth program in Hoover’s nameTucker builds youth program in Hoover’s name

Legendary airshow performer and aviation advocate Sean D. Tucker sought and received R.A. "Bob" Hoover’s permission to name an aviation education nonprofit that serves at-risk youth in California’s Salinas Valley in Hoover’s honor. Tucker is now turning to the wider general aviation community seeking support.

Photo by Chris Rose.

In a June 14 email to friends and fellow aviators, Tucker noted that he has been quietly working on the nonprofit first known as “Every Kid Can Fly” for five years, partnering with the Monterey County Office of Education to build a program for high school students, using aviation to inspire them to strive for excellence.

It began as an after-school program hosted at Rancho Cielo, which serves students ages 16 to 25 who are from low-income, at-risk backgrounds. Tucker said that prior to Hoover’s death in October, Tucker visited his mentor and received permission to name the aviation nonprofit for youth after Hoover. Thus, Tucker’s Every Kid Can Fly became the Bob Hoover Academy. Young men and women have already begun to pay it forward.

“The ultimate goal is to cultivate dynamic and engaged leaders within our great community in the population that needs it most,” Tucker wrote to his aviation friends. “I started crop dusting in the Salinas valley in 1979. I've had the honor to work with some great folks over the years—some of the most loyal and hard working have been from this Hispanic community. Now the youth on the east side of Salinas need our help. It is on this premise that we created the Bob Hoover Academy.”

Tucker said he waited to appeal to fellow aviators for support “until we had built a thriving program that has a truly transformative effect on our student's lives. I'm very proud of what we've achieved.”

Tucker’s nonprofit is accepting donations online.

Topics: Pilots

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