Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies
University of Arizona Dean of Engineering David Hahn, Riki Ellison and 2023 Arizona YIP participants


This is YIP, and YIP is STEM! We targeted educational exposure at the right level to create trust and belief in the institutions in Tucson across the youth and their families. Just as important, inspiring Engineering to our next generation – Huge Win! Thank you for making the Dream Happen!

In the Heat of it 107 degrees in the Northern Sonoran Desert scattered with Saguaro Cacti amongst desert rocks, we had the oasis of youth and life centered in Tucson, Arizona, at the University of Arizona and spurred a passion for the impact we as a community gave to our youth there. In the indoor Football Facility, we brought in close to 200 plus people, parents, friends, and participants, the biggest crowd we have ever had in the third year of our Arizona YIP Program, for graduation day. We ran out of chairs -it is a testament to how great this program is and how bought in the community is for it and from it.

A day earlier, the Dean of Engineering for the University of Arizona joined me, USAF Chief Master Sergeant Meyenburg, in grading the 10 engineering STEM projects that the 10 squads of our AZ YIP youth completed that had a couple of Airmen and one or two U of A Football Student-Athletes assigned to each of the ten squads of 8 to 12 boys. Each of the 10-squad YIP participants self-selected their Project Manager, Electrical Engineer, Scale Mathematician, Aircraft Engineer, Material Engineer, and 3D Printing Architects as they system Engineered Davis Monthan Air Base to 1/400th scale, including runways, lighting, maintenance buildings, plane shelters, control tower and a variety of planes and helicopters on base. They designed 3 planes (scale ratio, design, aerospace physics landing on a simulated flight line) that were 3D printed to fit the model and to compete in landing on a 6-foot designed strip upright from altitude that would stay on the runway measured for length and accuracy. The Projects began on their first day, and they began to build parts the first week before the field trip to Davis Monthan AFB. The base visit showed the children the flight line, real-life aircraft, and military working dog scenarios and topped it off with a visit to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group. The children interacted with the base, the Airmen, and all the elements that compile the rescue and attack mission. After that trip, the youth built and engineered their complete projects daily with their airmen and student-athletes while receiving mentoring by teaching in words, not showing them how to do it. The hands-on combined with reading manuals had the groups working on teams led by the Project Manager to hit timelines and assessments. It reflected the real world/real engineering challenges as a project manager and team at the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade levels. We were dazed and amazed! They were all remarkable projects completed by adhering to constraints and requirements provided by the STEM staff. The Dean of Engineering was blown away by the learning experience of STEM and the love of Engineering coming from the youth. At least half of each squad was passionate about engineering from doing these projects.

There was some real natural talent exposed, and you could see it feel it, and believe it. We had all sorts of grading charts, the Dean and I, joined by Jim and Lori Krohn, Chief Meyenburg, and Dennis Gray. Those 10 projects were brought and displayed to all the parents and families on graduation day, and Col Mills of Davis Monthan Air Base (commander of the 355th Wing) took the best one back with him to display at the base leadership stand-up and to permanently reside in his office. We linked the bridge, the trust, and the exposure to bring STEM from the US Air Force into the University for our 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade youth participants. It was simply remarkable and historic for YIP as the first ever accurate application of STEM, partnering the University with the Air Force Base of Davis Monthan in bringing engineering and the US Air Force to life at this young and critical age. We lite their flame of that burning fire to dream big and be big and live your dream, supporting them, enabling them with trust exposure alignment and support from the winning institutional organizations of the University of Arizona, US Air Force Base at Davis Monthan, Tucson Conquistadors, leaders in the Tucson community and prominent U of A Alumni led by Jim and Lori Krohn and Jon and Heather Volpe.

We left the Children in the hands of their parents and loved ones, whom we gave responsibility to keep the Dreams of their children burning while utilizing these great institutions in Tucson to continue to trust, to be the beacon of light, to show that they can win, enable them to dream big and live their dream.


Give the Dream!


Permanently Impacting Our Nation’s At-Risk, Inner-City Youth