JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — For students at Northwest High School, the rain wasn’t the only thing coming down from the sky. They had a very special visit from someone who used to sit in their classrooms. But is now, living life in the sky.

It’s been 25 years since Nicole Battjes was at Northwest High. She now owns Rainbow Helicopters in Honolulu, Hawaii. She used to come by bus, but on Tuesday she flew herself in via helicopter. “We are here to share the passion of vertical aviation with the kids at Northwest High School,” Battjes said.

Airborne alumna makes a visit in a helicopter to Northwest High School in Jackson. Oct. 10, 2023 (WLNS)

The school is offering a new aviation class, and administrators thought that bringing in an alum who built her life around flying would serve as inspiration for the students. “I want the kids to know that you know if they have a dream, especially these kids in the aviation class, you know get out there and explore the career,” Battjes said. “Normal people are doing big things.”

Some of these big things include helping out during the recent wildfires in Maui. Battjes and her team flew critical supplies to people displaced by the infernos.

For students, seeing this role model visit their school in person was inspirational. “You start here at this small school in Jackson, you can go own a helicopter company in Hawaii,” said Ruben Lanphear. “It’s pretty awesome.”

Teachers at Northwest High School also appreciated the chance to see what one of their alums has been up to since graduation. “She was one of my former students years ago,” said Brian Klinger, “Nice to have her be able to talk with my kids, and hopefully develop more interest in aviation with my students.”