By Robert Burgins, Jr. 

Recently Bessemer’s Composite Squadron held their annual open house event. This event is held approximately twice each year to garner more interest for possible cadets with a focus in various community services and career goals for current middle and high schoolers. Now for those uncertain, this particular branch is more than just learning how to fly airplanes and gaining knowledge based around the aviation pool, CAP is even broader, where students learn about other areas within the scientific medium, along with courses and trainings in health care and civic duties also. 

We spoke with several of the impressive young men and women who’ve been a part of the program for several years, such as recently joined cadet Luke Matteo. He told us, “It’s been an amazing experience and overall a great community.” 

Luke’s one of the youngest we had the privilege to speak with, along with Ms. Caaiya Woods who told us about the lessons she’s learned in aerospace engineering as well as being introduced to techniques of satellite measuring. She told us, “Here at CAP it’s a lot similar to things we’ve learned in school, but also here you get more in-depth teachings with hands-on experience.” 

Viewing their latest open house event, we could feel the enthusiasm, energy and dedication the students have invested into a medium that’s held their attention and also has given them a goal-oriented outlook for their future paths.  

A lot of the visiting crowd seemed very much interested, which included parents who were asking questions of the staff before the full program even started, which is a sign of goodness for the students that are interested that have great parental support. 

We also spoke with parents/senior CAP members like Mrs. Misty Stoves who informed about the STEM oriented topics students are introduced to, as well as the recent accomplishments of the B.C.S where students were ranked in the semifinalist category for a competitive rocket scientist contest nationally, which is an impressive feat, which cadets participate without any adult supervision.  

Misty told us, “We’ve been a part of several competitions and programs where our students have been placed in several scenarios that test the knowledge they’ve gained here. They’re really working hard and achieving much already, as they’re taught how to use certain aviation systems, but leadership development is a big part of the culture here seeing to it our students hone basic and necessary skills early on.” 

Also newly joined senior member Dan Matteo told us how great his experience has been with fellow parents and how he’s seen his very own child grow in a short time through the CAP program. He said, “I actually learned about the B.C.S. through an open house. My child is not necessarily into the aviation portions, but more so the leadership and character development portions as well as emergency services. So it’s been fantastic to see him mature here as he learns more about the aspects of career opportunities and choices.” 

We appreciate the parental efforts of CAP members and the wonderful students moving forward to contribute to our society in future years. 

Also we salute senior students Rylan Ross and David Stoves who’ve completed several years in the CAP program, as they get ready to share with the world the skills they’ve acquired through this important community fixture. 

For any interested in learning more, email kyle.buchina@alwg.us or visit Bessemer Composite Squadron’s Facebook page. Also many may come out to the Wreaths Across America event on December 16th to learn further information.  

The BCS is located at 700 Mitchell Field Road, Bessemer, AL. 35022.