The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) AV8RS youth membership program has awarded four scholarships totaling $20,000 to teens who are pursuing flight training in high school and college.
The winners are Alexander Brown, 15, of Boyds, Md., Abigail Jarve, 17, of Seatac, Wash., Carl Eefsting, 17, of Allendale, Mich., and Matthew Groh, 18, of Lafayette, Ind.
“We are proud to name these four exceptional young AV8RS as the recipients of our 2014 AV8RS program scholarships,” said Mark Baker, AOPA president and CEO. “When you look at what these young people have done already – in aviation, in school and in their communities – it’s clear that they are well on their way to successful lives in and out of the cockpit. It gives us great pleasure to help them on their way.”
Several applicants noted that the scholarship will help offset the expense of flight training, which can come in addition to college tuition.
Recipient Carl Eefsting hopes to pursue a missionary flying career. Two awardees, Matthew Groh – a freshman at Purdue University – and Abigail Jarve, who will attend the University of North Dakota, want to put their scholarships toward flight training for airline careers.
Alexander Brown will turn 16 in June and has been preparing to solo. He applied for the scholarship to help pay for a private pilot’s certificate as a first step toward a flying career.
“I am a young man who believes in balancing your life through the four ‘As’ – Academics, Athletics, Arts and AVIATION,” Brown wrote in his scholarship application.
Jarve stated, “My dream is to become a pilot, and I am not giving up until I am one.”
“I don’t want to be just any pilot,” Groh wrote. “I want to be a safe, prepared, focused and efficient pilot who knows his abilities and limitations.”
Eefsting described his hope to become a missionary pilot who will “fly to isolated villages in third-world countries, transporting pastors, Bible teachers and missionaries, and flying medical emergencies.”
AV8RS is AOPA’s program to introduce teens aged 13 to 18 to the world of aviation and flight. Membership in AV8RS is free and includes a digital subscription to Flight Training magazine; access to member-only content on AOPA.org and flighttraining.aopa.org; opportunities to connect with other AOPA AV8RS across the country through online social communities including Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, and YouTube; content at AOPA.org/AV8RS; a special e-newsletter with stories about young pilots; scholarship opportunities and more.
This year’s scholarship program was funded through the AOPA Foundation, a non-profit organization, and made possible through donations from AOPA Insurance Services and Sporty’s Pilot Shop, AOPA officials said.