August 25, 2016 Will Aquino


There are two crucial elements to every Exploring post— youth members and adult leaders. Both are what make Exploring possible and the stories of Didi and Tim show just how youth and leaders work to make a difference for themselves and in the lives of others.

Didi Aranki thought she had her future career figured out, but when she encountered an Exploring post at a local airport, her path took an unexpected turn.

“I initially thought photography was my thing. I had done that all throughout high school and [I] bought a nice camera and everything,” Didi said.

Upon joining the Orange County Aviation Exploring post, Didi discovered a passion for something she had never before considered—aviation mechanics.

In the video, Didi shares that being exposed to new experiences, networking, and the camaraderie she found within her post are what really jump-started her new-found enthusiasm. Her involvement in the post also helped her academic focus so she could further pursue a career as a certified airframe and power flight mechanic.

“You can’t stray off when you’re in high school either. You have to stay focused; you have to just be dedicated… You may find what you love without even knowing what it is.”

An Advisor’s Perspective

Tim Lloyd has a robust background in aviation. Not only is he a retired Air Force pilot, he also teaches aviation at a local university. So when he learned about the opportunity to spark youth interest in the subject, he was onboard.

Now serving as an advisor for the Orange County Aviation Exploring post, Tim has been able to share his flair for flying with young people, helping them explore the field of aviation.

“The aviation program has really allowed me to share my love of aviation and working with youth and I can put the two together,” Tim said.

One of the Explorers Tim shares this passion with is his son, who joined the program along with his father. His son was able to delve into the field and gain the skills needed as he now prepares to pursue his career in aviation at the Air Force Academy. Tim explains that Exploring engaged his son’s interests as well as his own, keeping his enthusiasm for aviation alive.

Learn more about Didi and Tim in the videos or on YouTube and then share it with your friends and family on social media.

Exploring offers young adults an opportunity to immerse themselves in real-world scenarios that prepare them for a future in a field of interest. Check out the testimonials and let us know how Exploring has made a difference to you or someone you know in the comments!

To discover how to get involved in the Exploring program, head to the new

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