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EAA Chapters Can Inspire

Brian Lee, President of EAA Chapter 441; Kent, Washington

September 2015 - Rami Slim has always been an aviation enthusiast. Just ask any one of his friends — they’ll tell you he’s determined, motivated, and, above all, passionate about exploring and learning more about the field of aerospace.

In 2013, the father of one of Slim’s high school friends invited him to go for a Young Eagles ride, which later led to an introduction to EAA. Chapter 441’s president invited Slim to attend a chapter meeting, volunteering to give him a ride to and from the meeting. At one meeting, Chapter 441 Vice President Tim Shaver suggested that members “pass the hat” to make Slim a fully paid, card-carrying member of the chapter. Tim literally took the hat off his head and passed it around. Members contributed a few dollars each, and the deal was done.

Over the course of a year, Slim contributed several articles to the chapter newsletter. His articles centered on the part of aviation he could afford to participate in at the time: radio-controlled (RC) flying.

For two years in high school, Slim was president of the student-organized RC flying club. He accredits much of his knowledge of flight physics to the small-scale models he’s flown remotely over the years. At the meetings, when project reports were given, Slim would report on the progress of his own RC projects.

During meetings, members noticed Slim was more or less continually typing into his cellphone; naturally, they figured he was texting his friends or checking Facebook. However, when asked about it, Slim explained there were times when he was unfamiliar with the type of aircraft being discussed. He would use his phone to search online for more information regarding those airplanes, to both learn about them and be able to participate in the discussion.

As teenagers grow up, their activities become both more diverse and more intense. As a result, Chapter 441 lost track of Slim for a while. It turns out he has been studying aeronautical engineering at the University of Washington, and has recently landed a prestigious engineering internship at the Boeing Company, working in the 777 Technical Integration organization.

Slim attributes much of his inspiration for pursuing his engineering education and interest in working at Boeing to the experiences he’s had through EAA, beginning with the Young Eagles ride and continuing with the eagerness of Chapter 441 members to include him in their organization. He appreciates their continued support and says he is excited for what the future holds.

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