Mentor Helps Youth Take Flight

Dave Kolstad, or as he is known by our students, Mr. Dave, has built his own airplane. He holds the world record speed in his plane’s weight class for flying 1,350 miles from Los Angeles to Guadalajara in 7 hours and 11 minutes. That’s an average of 185.23 miles per hour!  

Mr. Dave tending to his airplane.

This school year, Mr. Dave took 4 students to fly his airplane with him for the day. When asked why he allows youth to fly his plane, Mr. Dave said, “I love it. People get over a lot of fears when they face the reality of new things.” He plans to continue offering this awesome opportunity for our students to fly his plane on the fourth Saturday of every month.

Mr. Dave pictured with his mentee, Alejandro.

As a mentor in Cloud & Fire’s National Mentoring Alliance initiative, Mr. Dave has also taken his mentee at Cloud & Fire, Alejandro, to watch him change the propeller on his airplane. Alejandro fondly remembers the special day out with his mentor. He reported, “I liked getting the chance to learn all the details of how airplanes fly.” Dave taught Alejandro that he uses a wooden propeller because when debris hit a metal propeller, dents and cracks are very difficult to repair, but with a wooden one, it is much easier to fill in imperfections.  So far, this is Alejandro’s favorite memory with his mentor.

This is just one snapshot of our incredible mentors and volunteers at Cloud & Fire. In addition to mentoring Alejandro, Mr. Dave is a faithful tutor in multiple math classes during the week and is a guest speaker at our morning huddle talks. He is a great example of one of our Cloud & Fire champions who is empowering youth to thrive.

Interested in becoming a mentor or volunteer at Cloud & Fire? Contact Vanessa at