Since 1973, Mission Soaring Center has assumed many identities. First, it was a glider supply center that provided aluminum and eventually complete airframe kits to eager flyers. Then, it helped enthusiasts not only build their kits but also fly them during trips to training dunes at Fort Ord. Through every incarnation, one man has been at the helm: owner, founder, and hang-gliding wunderkind Pat Denevan. In addition to helping shape the hang-gliding industry, Pat also has played a pivotal role in the development of training standards and instructor-certification programs. In doing so, he was named the US Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association instructor of the year in 2001.
To this day, Mission Soaring Center still provides gliding enthusiasts—be they beginners or advanced—with lessons, clinics, equipment rentals, and equipment-repair services. Lessons entreat new flyers to learn the ins and outs of basic movements in simulation harnesses and ground schools, before using a specialized winch that sends low-flying practice flights across greater distances. More advanced classes encourage gliders to move toward unassisted flights, as they eventually hit the necessary skill levels to take trips to Big Sur and launch at 3,000 feet.
Customers can browse the large selection of gliders and equipment at the shop, where staff members pair them with the right harnesses, gliders, and accessories. At the repair shop, trained technicians perform maintenance and inspections on harnesses, frames, and sails, with simulators ready to help determine the perfect fit.
Aloha Mind Math's certified teachers lead students through weekly after-school classes that increase mental processing abilities through fun, interactive lessons, keeping classes small to ensure all students receive ample attention. Though primarily focused on math, teachers also host reading and writing classes that increase literacy, reducing the chance students will accidentally sign contracts to forever trade their chocolate milk for pieces of chalk.
More than three decades ago, educator Larry Martinek?set out on a mission to develop a curriculum that would radically change the traditional approach to teaching math. Noting a "disconnect between students' basic skills training and the curriculum they [must] master in the years to come," Larry created an original teaching method designed to turn students into miniature mathematicians capable of thinking critically to solve problems. His approach, which he describes as the cultivation of number sense, strives to sharpen students? math instincts, rather than drill them with repetitive, memory-based exercises or force them to blackmail accountants to crunch the numbers. Soon after students began using Larry's method, their test scores began to rise. In the spring of 2002, Larry's dream came true. Peter Markovitz and David Ullendorff, leaders in the education industry, made Larry and his curriculum the driving force of Mathnasium. Larry introduced his curriculum as the Mathnasium Method.
Today, Mathnasium centers can be found throughout the world. Informed by Larry's visionary innovations, the program's tutors give personalized coaching that focuses on bolstering critical thinking through written materials and mental math, forsaking many of the teaching tools found in a traditional classroom. In addition, the tutors also focus on boosting students' enthusiasm for the subject, helping them overcome a lack of confidence in the classroom or their innate fear of prime numbers.
The rich history of kenpo karate stretches as far back as the second century AD, when the number two was invented and renowned surgeon Hua T’o devised defensive exercises based on animal poses. The Asian sport continued to evolve over the intervening years, and in the 20th century, Ed Parker imported kenpo to the states and became not only the senior grandmaster of American kenpo, but also the “father of American Kenpo.” Today, Ed Parker Jr. carries on his father’s legacy as a member of the Master Council that presides over American Institute of Kenpo, along with other kenpo greats such as ninth-degree black belt Sigung Stephen LaBounty. The team of experts offers a guiding presence at the institute—Ed drops in for yearly camps and senior black-belt testing—and ensures the internationally certified instructors teach kenpo karate with the utmost attention to the principles of the sport.
Though kenpo is derived from ancient techniques, it encompasses contemporary self-defense and fitness methods. In the first lesson, students power through all the basics—the five ranges of combat and how to move swiftly—and form a sturdy foundation for increased strength, coordination, and flexibility. The center offers a wide range of programs for all ages and ability levels so that new pupils can master kenpo quickly and ascend through the belt-oriented ranks toward black.
It was a clear afternoon in Mission, British Columbia, when Walter Gyger climbed into his friend's Cessna 172. He’d spent his childhood constructing model airplanes and dreaming of stepping into the pilot's seat of a real one. The two lifted off, the ground dropping smoothly away, and soared on into the evening, finally touching down on Vancouver Island. That experience spurred Walter on to seek out his pilot license. Years later, after taking classes at Trade Winds Aviation, he bought the company. Walter now works with a team of FAA-certified flight instructors to give budding pilots that same push he received to pursue the dream of flying and pilot certification.
Trade Winds two-runway Reid-Hillview airport and adjacent training area sit surrounded by ridges splashed with watercolor blotches of green, which pilots-in-training survey from wide cockpit windows as they follow the official Cessna training program. Students set their own pace as they progress through lessons in cross-country flight, night flying, and navigation, all augmented by online training, practical flight sessions, and heckling from birds. When not guiding pupils through the valley's consistently clear skies, the staff help maintain Trade Winds' fleet of Cessna and Remos aircraft, many of which have features such as satellite radio, autopilot, GPS maps, and spare commas for absent-minded skywriters.