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Travis Airmen inspire students with local exhibit

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Megan Lanzer, left, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and equipment journeyman, teaches Aniyah Blanche, a student with the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit, how to operate a Bobcat Oct. 22, 2019, at Ulatis Community Center, Vacaville, California.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Megan Lanzer, left, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and equipment journeyman, teaches Aniyah Blanche, a student with the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit, how to operate a Bobcat Oct. 22, 2019, at Ulatis Community Center, Vacaville, California. The Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit enabled approximately 1,700 students to actively engage in a job fair with representatives from more than 25 Solano County, California, businesses and organizations including Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell)

Aniyah Blanche, a student attending the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit, smiles while operating a Bobcat Oct. 22, 2019, at Ulatis Community Center, Vacaville, California.

Aniyah Blanche, a student attending the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit, smiles while operating a Bobcat Oct. 22, 2019, at Ulatis Community Center, Vacaville, California. The Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit enabled approximately 1,700 students to actively engage in a job fair with representatives from more than 25 Solano County, California, businesses and organizations including Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell)

Ryan Duncan, left, an eighth grade student attending the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit, does a coding challenge with U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marcus Larue, 60th Communications Squadron cyber security technician at Travis Air Force Base, California, Oct. 22, 2019, at Ulatis Community Center, Vacaville, California.

Ryan Duncan, left, an eighth grade student attending the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit, does a coding challenge with U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marcus Larue, 60th Communications Squadron cyber security technician at Travis Air Force Base, California, Oct. 22, 2019, at Ulatis Community Center, Vacaville, California. The Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit enabled approximately 1,700 students to actively engage in a job fair with representatives from more than 25 Solano County, California, businesses and organizations including Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell)

Lincoln McFadden, a toddler attending the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit, stands inside a fire truck assigned to the 60th Civil Engineering Squadron, Oct. 22, 2019, at Ulatis Community Center, Vacaville, California.

Lincoln McFadden, a toddler attending the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit, stands inside a fire truck assigned to the 60th Civil Engineering Squadron, Oct. 22, 2019, at Ulatis Community Center, Vacaville, California. The Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit enabled approximately 1,700 eighth grade students and their families to engage in a job fair with representatives from more than 25 Solano County, California, businesses and organizations including Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis Valencia, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector, at Travis Air Force Base, California, discusses the firefighter mission to students attending the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit, Oct. 22, 2019, at Ulatis Community Center, Vacaville, California.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis Valencia, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector, at Travis Air Force Base, California, discusses the firefighter mission to students attending the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit, Oct. 22, 2019, at Ulatis Community Center, Vacaville, California. The Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit enabled approximately 1,700 students to actively engage in a job fair with representatives from more than 25 Solano County, California, businesses and organizations including Travis AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Airmen from the 60th Mission Support Group at Travis Air Force Base participated in the Inspire: Dreams Start Now exhibit Oct. 22, at the Ulatis Community Center in Vacaville, California, where approximately 1,700 eighth grade students from Vacaville, Travis and Dixon school districts, learned about civilian and military careers.

The Airmen discussed Air Force jobs ranging from being a firefighter, a computer coder to a pavement and heavy equipment operator.

This was a great experience for the Airmen who contributed to this cause and who demonstrated how dynamic job opportunities are in the military, said 2nd Lt. Elvin Hernandes, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron real property officer and one of the event organizers.

Having Airmen from Travis displaying a variety of careers besides the one that everyone thinks of, ‘pilot,’ was great for the students, said Becky Craig, Vacaville Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive officer.

“I want people to appreciate that kids are truly excited and learn while they are at this event,” Craig said.

Being able to share part of the firefighter mission with so many students was rewarding for Staff Sgt. Luis Valencia, 60th CES fire inspector.

“One of our goals is to show these students that this is a good career,” Valencia said. “Educating the kids that there is a job to be a firefighter while serving your country in all branches of the service was eye opening to some of the students and sparked questions.”

Valencia wore firefighter protection equipment and described the importance of specific pieces of the gear to the students.

One student asked Valencia, ‘What does someone do if there is a fire with zero visibility?’ Valencia answered that getting low to the floor is the best method. The air quality is better and since smoke rises, lowering one-self to the ground may improve visibility.

“I think the biggest thing here for any of these kids is that this was not just a slideshow they received,” Hernandez continued. “This event showcased what Airmen do and why they do it. Events like this could give some of these students a goal or basic knowledge of the service. The Inspire exhibit demonstrated different career fields. We really just want to let the students know that we are here, and one day they can be a part of such a unique, diverse team serving our great nation.”

For more information on events like the Inspire exhibit, call the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce at 707-448-6424.

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