Students are taking control of their high school education, and finding themselves in the driver’s seat, or rather in this case, the pilot’s chair.
Students at Seven Summits Centre for Learning (7S) in Rossland are doing education their own way. Two such students who seek adventure, craving more out of their high school journey, include Matt Sauer and James Laird.
As Grade 12 students at 7S, they have their ambitions firmly fixed on the next step at Okanagan College. Planning to earn their commercial helicopter pilot certificate, this dynamic duo has set their sights high in the skies.
“Since I was ten years old, I have wanted to fly helicopters,” said Sauer. “I like adventure, but more important is that I want to save lives. My ultimate goal is to work in search and rescue as a helicopter pilot. Everything I have done here at 7S has led to this next step. I have done courses here in first aid training, avalanche safety training, and now am graduating with skills to use in my post-secondary education.
“I enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of the blended learning model and student-centered programming. It’s all about me and my goals – that’s what I wanted for high school, and now I want to fly.”
Helicopter pilots jobs are high in demand. Current industries, including construction, surveying, mining, search and rescue, forestry, tourism, and heli-skiing, are just a few examples.
“My goal as a pilot is to work in the tourism industry, specifically heli-skiing,” said Laird.
“I decided back in Grade nine at 7S, that this was where I planned to take my career. The skill set just matches my persona.
“I love adventure, hard work, deciding actions under pressure. I am solid academically, and well, I just love to fly. As a heli-skiing pilot, I will be a part of so many people’s adventures – that’s going to be the part I will like the most.”
The course at Okanagan College is offered in partnership with Okanagan Mountain Helicopters.
This full-time program is a one-year term at the Kelowna campus, requiring students to pass a flight school exam, aviation medicals, and achieve necessary flight hours as defined by Transport Canada standards.
Once licenced, students look for jobs in the many areas of industry previously mentioned. Living their dreams and charting their course to fly, these two exceptional students imagine adventure is in their not-so-far future.
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life,” wrote Confucius.
Love your high school experience and chart your own dreams with an academically robust high school opportunity at Seven Summits Centre for Learning.