How a St. Louis church is teaching teens to fly. ‘It really changed everything for me’

Published by
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

CHESTERFIELD, Missouri — Derreck Beal Jr. sat in the front seat of his mom’s Nissan on a recent Friday morning traveling down Highway 40 when he got the news. Derreck, who goes by D.J., is a typical 17-year-old: Obsessed with basketball. Good student. Usually calm and collected. But, that morning in the car, he got a text that lit up his nerves. “You’re taking the test today,” the message read. It was from his flight instructor. D.J. is one of 11 students over the last two years chosen for the Red Tail Cadet Program, a six-week residential flight school that teaches students in the Ferguson-Fl…

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