by Morgan Montalvo
San Antonio's Aviation and Aerospace Hall of Fame last evening inducted its second round of local notables, including the first African American in space and America's first Latina military pilot.
Along with Dr. Bernard Harris and retired USAF Lt. Col. Olga Custodio, the hall of fame inducted former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for her support in the the creation of Port San Antonio following the closure of Kelly Air Force Base in the 1990s.
Proceeds from the annual event benefit aviation science and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs at schools mostly in under-served areas of San Antonio, said Wayne Fagan, chair of the Dee Howard Foundation and one of the hall of fame's founders.
Also invited to the banquet were 40 local area middle- and high school students studying aviation-related subjects. Fagan said providing the students with opportunities to meet aviation and aerospace notables, as well as visit airports and aviation production and maintenance centers, opens their minds to important and well-paying careers.
Fagan touted as one of the foundation's most recent successes its work at San Antonio ISD's Rhodes Middle School, a technology magnet campus. Rhodes currently is in a year-long partnership with the foundation, which provides students and teachers with funding for aviation and aerospace career exploration, field trips, special lesson materials and flight simulators.