Boeing Company Donates Grant to OPSF To Support Robotics Program

The Boeing Company has awarded a grant to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) to support the development of applied robotics programs for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle simulations for high school students as well as incorporating Robotics Teams for middle school students.  The grant funding from Boeing will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, through a matching grant from the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) and a corporate contribution from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide. 

In presenting the check from Boeing, Hank Sanders, director, Special Operations Forces Programs, Aircraft Modernization & Sustainment spoke of the investment Boeing has made to develop the potential of the brightest students who then become a part of the employment pool sought by Boeing.  “Many lives will be impacted by the challenging and innovative programs supported by the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  As a company with nearly 100 years of engineering innovations, Boeing has its eyes on investing in and developing the talent pool that will shape the next 100 years of innovation.”

Program Director for CHOICE/Career and Technical Education Patti Bonezzi echoed that sentiment, stating that Boeing’s investment in the future of Okaloosa students and staff represents the power of community partnerships. Okaloosa County Assistant Superintendent Steve Horton thanked representatives of Boeing and Embry-Riddle for their support, “We are proud to partner with both of these institutions, for they provide our students with un-paralleled opportunities to explore the future and contribute to it.” 

Ron Garriga, Director of Campus Training and Professional Development, US Campuses for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide, who serves as the Director of the Okaloosa Aerospace Academy, affirmed the value of the collaborative efforts represented by the grant funding, “This continues the progressive approach of Okaloosa County in preparing local students for the workforce.”

Boeing supports preparing and inspiring students to be dreamers of the future by gaining fundamental 21st century skills through STEM-related, problem-based experiences.   In addition to financial support of OPSF, Boeing employees from Fort Walton Beach volunteer their time, serving as mentors and classroom resources in Okaloosa public schools.