Founder: Jeff Magada is founder and executive director. A former civilian employee with Austintown Police Department from 1988 to 2001, Magada operated the juvenile diversion program. Magada has a criminal justice degree from Youngstown State University.
Background: Magada founded Flying High Inc. in 1994. In July 2001, Magada became executive director of the 501C nonprofit organization and left the Austintown Police Department.
Mission: The organization is designed to develop the potential of young people and adults in the Mahoning Valley. It specializes in programs for at-risk youths. Flying High works with all people who are disadvantaged because of living in low-income neighborhoods, incarceration or a simple lack of knowledge. It provides support, social service and recreational programs and strives to help communities create a systematic, coordinated approach to helping people. Flying High goals include helping communities improve employment rates and new business start-ups and lower youth crime rates.
Name origin: “It’s meant to challenge participants to get to the next level ... to make their quality of life higher,” Magada said.