"The mission of the Great Start Initiative is to give young people the best possible start to their adult lives."



Joel Gudger has been a pilot for United Airlines and a sought after youth mentor for many years. Joel has been mentoring teens and young adults through several programs including the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, where he was recognized with a OBAP Distinguished Service Award.

Mentorship is one of the most precious gifts that we can bestow on young people because it allows them to leverage other people’s experiences which in turn accelerates their journey towards success. The young adults in The Great Start Initiative will learn to master one of the single most effective strategies for settings and achieving their life goals called Vision Mapping. The Vision Mapping process will enable your members to achieve goals and dreams that they may not have believed was possible in their lives!


A Message from Joel Gudger


"In addition to my passion for flying jet airplanes, I have a passion for mentoring people to reach their dreams and aspirations.


Over the past 15 years I have shared in those magic moments when the people that I am mentoring call me with tears in their eyes to tell me that they just achieved their long sought after dream careers.


Wow what a moment!


Unfortunately I have had my fair share of heartbreaks as well. You see, over the years, I have found that the single biggest roadblock to my mentees reaching their dreams is a lack of financial resources to fund their education. There were times when I had a helpless feeling of only being able to offer words encouragement to someone struggling  not to give up on their dreams. Unfortunately, I have actually seen people give up on the pursuit of their dream because of a lack of financial resources! I wanted to provide something more tangible than mere heartfelt words of encouragement.


This is what inspired the Great Start Initiative!"


JOEL GUDGER                                      510-823-9059                                        captjg2@gmail.com