EAA 677 awards scholarship to Young Eagle

COLUMBUS, GA. — Chattahoochee Valley Chapter 677 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA 677), based at Columbus Airport (CSG), has awarded a full scholarship to the EAA Air Academy to 17-year-old Kennedy Davenport of Columbus, Georgia.

 Columbus, Georgia student Kennedy Davenport (left) accepts scholarship to EAA Air Academy from EAA Chapter 677 president, Ernie Kelly (right).

Kennedy Davenport and EAA Chapter 677 president, Ernie Kelly

Kennedy was chosen to receive a scholarship – worth more than $1,000 plus airfare – from among more than 400 children between the ages 8 and 17 who participated in the chapter’s Young Eagles events in 2013. She will attend the EAA Advanced Air Academy in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, from July 22-30.

The scholarship was presented at the Feb. 25 meeting of EAA 677.

This is the third year in a row the chapter has sponsored a student’s participation in the Air Academy and Kennedy is the fourth student to earn EAA 677’s backing. Jerad Lewark was the chapter’s first winner in 2012, and C.J. Arnold and Frank Lumpkin, IV, were scholarship recipients in 2013.

“Kennedy is a rare combination of youthful enthusiasm and focused achievement,” said Ernie Kelly, chapter president. “She is the first of our students to complete the ground school offered to Young Eagles at no charge by Sporty’s Academy. By doing that, she not only earned a free flying lesson, she earned our respect.”

In addition to being a Young Eagle, Kennedy is a junior at Kendrick High School in Columbus where she is a Cadet Lieutenant Colonel and Battalion Commander in the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AJROTC).

“This EAA 677 scholarship to attend Air Academy gives me an opportunity I wouldn’t have been able afford without it,” Kennedy said after receiving the award. “I believe that this is the beginning of a major step toward obtaining my pilot’s license and moving closer to my dream of being an aviator in the United States Armed Forces.”

“Our scholarship will cover Kennedy’s tuition at Air Academy, but her transportation is being funded through the generous support of Thunder in the Valley Air Show and the Ft. Benning Chapter of the Association of the United States Army,” Kelly said. “These fine organizations have demonstrated their commitment to Chattahoochee Valley youth organizations time and time again in ways that go far beyond monetary donations. We are indebted to both groups.”

Lumpkin will return to Air Academy this summer for a second time, representing EAA 677 at his own expense. He is a freshman at Columbus High School who has volunteered with EAA 677 at Thunder in the Valley Air Show the past several years.

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