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He was my friend

  • Schlieben, Paul, take off and grow, killed in plane crash

    Schlieben, Paul, take off and grow, killed in plane crash

  • take off and grow, long, paul schlieben

    take off and grow, long, paul schlieben

  • take off and grow, glidden, mother, paul

    take off and grow, glidden, mother, paul

  • take off and grow, long, paul schlieben, flight

    take off and grow, long, paul schlieben, flight

  • take off and grow

    take off and grow

  • Schlieben, Paul, take off and grow, killed in plane crash
  • take off and grow, long, paul schlieben
  • take off and grow, glidden, mother, paul
  • take off and grow, long, paul schlieben, flight
  • take off and grow

Two years ago, the world lost a great man. On Feb. 9, 2012, Paul Schlieben passed in a fatal plane crash. Paul was my mentor, my friend and my inspiration.

I met Paul back in early 2008 when he was starting up a program called Take Off and Grow. This program allowed high school students the opportunity to learn how to fly for nothing, but community service. He paid for the flight training out of pocket. Unfortunately due to the economy, he had to put an early end to the program and it never got outside of my high school. His intentions were to expand the program to nearby high schools and beyond. Through Take Off and Grow, I was able to obtain my private pilot’s license while in high school. It was through Take Off and Grow that I discovered my passion for aviation.

Paul had one of the best smiles I’ve ever seen. It was one of those smiles that could melt away a bad day. He never put himself first, instead always helping others in anyway he could. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about Paul. The hole left by his passing, still and will never be filled for those he helped, loved and cared for. May you forever rest in peace. Thank you for all that you did for me. Godspeed, Paul Schlieben.

ConVal graduate Edward Glidden grew up in Greenfield. He is in his senior year at Farmingdale State College in Long Island, N.Y., and will be graduating with a bachelor degree in aeronautical science.

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