Elevate Your Life Program Changes Lives After Founder’s Death

Admin Airplanes, Flex Air News

Greg Poe, a pilot from Boise, was a highly successful airshow pilot and was regarded as one of the best aerobatic pilots.

He had a twenty-year aviation career, with over 10,000 hours of recorded flight time, and had flown more than 100 different types of aircraft. However, near the end of his life, he only had one mission. After the death of his son, Ryan Poe, Greg founded a program called Elevate Your Life – Ryan J. Poe Foundation. His son had succumbed to heroin addiction. Even though rehabilitation attempts were made, in 2002 Ryan died at the age of twenty.

Because of this, Greg Poe dedicated his life to making a difference.

The website speaks of America’s youth stating, “The best defense is knowledge and the realization that the good things in their lives far outweigh the bad, and that they are in complete control of their destinies and happiness. Their future is a choice, and with good guidance and fearless determination, they will have a chance to reach their dreams.” The outreach of Elevate Your Life can be best be summed up by this sentiment found on their webpage:

“Every young person has talent and ability. We want to help them discover and make their own success story from those skills – Greg Poe.”

Back in July 24, 2011, Greg Poe passed away due to a heart attack. He passed away while dirt bike riding. He was 57 years old. Russ Poe, Greg’s brother, was dedicated to carrying on Elevate Your Life. “If we can do this the rest of our lives and we can say that we saved or made a difference in one life that it would all be worthwhile and of course that one life was Ryan,” Russ said. “When we lost Greg it was like losing the lead singer of the band,” Russ said, reflecting on how at first Elevate Your Life’s path was uncertain after Greg’s death.

Brad Wursten, a friend and fellow stunt pilot stepped up to assist the program in Greg’s absence.

“I love to see people make something of their life. I like to see people stay clean and that’s how we got started with it,” Wursten said. Wursten is from Logan, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City. Wursten has been carrying on with the Elevate Your Life program since, flying in as many as ten airshows a year. With each airshow he tries to carry on the message of the program to kids. Wursten said, “It’s pretty awesome actually to see the enthusiasm with these young kids; it’s remarkable.

“You get that, never in a million years would some of these kids be able to do that.”

Russ Poe expressed great admiration for Wursten. “If you watch Brad fly, it’s just like watching Greg fly,” he said. “We’re in a business of inspiring the youth and trying to inspire them to have a dream. And airplanes are the perfect metaphor for dreams,” Russ said. In Greg’s absence the program has continued to soar, bringing hope and a positive mention to kids everywhere. Greg Poe summed it up best himself back in a 2009 interview.

“If you apply yourself, it’s kind of amazing what you can really accomplish.”