Bessie Coleman Fly Girl Wins National Scholarship
Ashlynn Salazar, a member of the Bessie Coleman Fly Girls/Boys program, under the leadership of Jacqueline Withers, has been awarded The Continuing the Legacy in Aviation scholarship from Southwest Airlines. This scholarship will allow Ashlynn to tour the Southwest Pilot and Flight Attendant Training Center in Dallas, Texas, October 11-13. Additionally, she will meet Southwest Airlines leaders, fly in the flight simulator, visit Network Operations Control, Emergency Command Center, attend the Ft. Worth Alliance Airshow, and learn the history of the documented Original Tuskegee Airmen and more.
Salazar, a student at Aurora Quest K-8, is a very bright and articulate young lady, who in addition to participating with Bessie Colman is a member of the school swim team, competitive dance team and serves as president of the National Society of Black Engineers Jr., Denver Chapter. Her dream is to become a Rescue Helicopter Pilot, as well as pursuing a career as a Biomedical Engineer.
The Bessie Coleman Fly Girls was founded by Jacqueline Withers in 2003. Withers, is an artist and was inspired after painting a mural of the Tuskegee Airmen Bessie Coleman, the first African American female to earn her pilot’s license in the United States in 1922.
ULMD Announces First Half of New Leadership Plan
Local entrepreneur—Wil Alston to serve as new President/CEO
The Urban League of Metropolitan Denver’s (ULMD) Board of Directors announced that it has unanimously chosen Wil Alston as the organization’s next president/ CEO.
Alston, who currently doubles as an entrepreneur and as the director of marketing for the Five Points-based Civil Technology, Inc. will succeed former president/CEO, Sean Bradley. The announcement is the first part of the 72-year-old advocacy organization’s two-phases of onboarding new leadership.
Alston will begin his new role on Oct. 1. The second phase of the onboarding plan, scheduled for rollout in late-October, will be the announcement of service programs targeted to address systemic issues in the Denver community and an expanded board of directors. The selection of Alston caps a five-month national search process that was facilitated by the Urban League’s Board of Directors. An initial pool of nine applicants was narrowed to a group of three candidates that were interviewed by the ULMD Board search committee, and then a final round of meetings produced Alston as the candidate of choice.
Alston, 57, is a native of Washington, DC and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Regis College in Denver. He has held senior level positions with Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, and has led or held senior level positions with several local nonprofits including: Five Points Business District, University of Denver’s Spirituals Project, and the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce. Currently Alston provides marketing, strategic planning, event coordination, and strategic communication consulting to a variety of public and private organizations through his almost twenty-year-old firm, The Wil Alston Group.
He is a longtime resident of Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood where he resides with his wife of 24 years, Roz.