SAN CARLOS, Calif. — The Upwind Summer Scholarship Program has named its 2013 winners: Eric Dasmalchi of Half Moon Bay, Calif., and Matt Moropoulos of Belmont, Calif. Both boys have been awarded a complete primary flight training program that begins with ground school in April and continues with flight training once the academic school year is completed.
Upwind Program Director Michael Vowles reveals, “We are very excited to award our first scholarships this year to Eric and Matt. The Upwind Summer Scholarship Program provides a unique opportunity for high school students to receive their pilot’s license, giving them a foundation upon which to build their careers in aviation.”
In partnership with San Carlos Flight Center (SCFC), the Upwind Summer Scholarship Program (Upwind) was created to promote piloting and general aviation, and to cultivate interest in aviation as a career, according to officials. Each year Upwind selects one or more persons and provide them with everything they need to earn a Private Pilot license. This includes ground school instruction, along with all the necessary books, charts, and basic flight planning tools, as well as flight training with expert instructors. Additionally, the scholarship recipients will receive mentorship and guidance from other SCFC pilots, and enjoy many other social and flying activities. For more information: SanCarlosFlight.com/Upwind.
This year, Upwind has chosen two winners instead of the planned one in response to the overwhelmingly high quality of applications, officials said.
Eric Dasmalchi is a junior at Half Moon Bay High School and the son of Glenn and Wendy Dasmalchi. Eric is an avid cyclist and is actively involved in the League of Creative Minds, with whom he traveled to China to compete in a Model United Nations conference. Eric was inspired to learn to fly when, at age 12, he was treated to a ride in a Cessna 172. “When the pilot offered the controls to me, I remember saying ‘I have the airplane’ as if it was some magic spell that granted me entry into a whole new world.”
Matt Moropoulos is a junior at Carlmont High School, and the son of Chris Moropoulos and Leigh Herman. Matt is a member and volunteer at Hiller Aviation Museum, a freelance web designer, and competes as a member of his school’s robotics team. Matt’s first flight experience in a 2-seat Kitfox launched his passion for aviation. “Seeing and feeling flight from the perspective of a small plane drastically changed how I thought of flying. I immediately felt a unique and personal connection to the aircraft. I saw the world from a new angle and perspective that day and I’ll never forget it.”
For more information: SanCarlosFlight.com