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Programs give students real world work experience in high school

Published: Monday, May 26 2014 12:40 a.m. MDT

LeFevre will attend the University of Utah in the fall and said she wants to become an emergency room physician.

For Croft, who was initially unsure of what he wanted to do career-wise, attending the institute gave him the chance to explore numerous potential career fields. Along the way, he found that one of the things that he developed a passion for was flying.

“I’ve definitely caught the aviation bug,” he said. Croft recently received his Federal Aviation Administration endorsement and said he would eventually like to get his private pilot’s license.

So enthralled was Croft with his aviation training that he volunteered to re-enact Charles Lindbergh’s historic 1927 solo trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris in the institute's flight simulator. The 18-year old spent 27 hours in the cockpit made to recreate Lindbergh’s experience piloting the Spirit of St. Louis.

“It was very challenging,” he said. “I had to keep track of where I was so I didn’t get lost.” Lucky Lindy’s flight actually took 33.5 hours, but the simulator flew a bit faster than the original aircraft, explained avaition instructor Ted Roos.

“It was kind of nerve-racking trying to keep the airplane on the right heading and stay awake when there is nothing to look at but stars and water,” Croft said.

While he enjoyed the experience of traveling the heavens, Croft said that rather than becoming a commercial pilot, he would like to pursue a career in engineering.

Croft and Lefevre credit the staff at the institute for putting “everything they have” into educating the students and giving them confidence to strive for their highest goals and helping them grow as students and people.

“I realized the professionalism of all the students and the caring of staff,” he said. “They want to see us succeed.”

E-mail: jlee@deseretnews.com

Twitter: JasenLee1

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