SAN CARLOS, Calif. — ￼￼￼￼The Upwind Foundation has revealed the Upwind Summer Scholarship Program Class of 2016 for the following San Francisco Bay Area high school juniors: Travis Bender of Redwood City, Kyle Caverly of San Mateo, Leon Lam of San Jose, Michael Salazar of San Bruno and Patrick Shea of San Carlos.
These five aspiring aviators have been awarded a complete primary flight training program, four for airplanes and one for helicopter, which began with ground school in April and continues with flight training over the summer.“There is no more fulfilling endeavor than to share your passion with a young adult who’s eager to learn,” said Upwind Board Co-Chair Anita Kriek. “The board members and I are excited to welcome these five well deserving 2016 Scholarship recipients to the aviation community.”
The Upwind Summer Scholarship Program was created by Bay Area pilots to promote piloting, general aviation and to cultivate interest in aviation-related careers. Each year, Upwind selects one or more high school students and provides them with everything they need to earn their Private Pilot certificate. This includes private pilot ground school, flight training with expert instructors, books, charts and basic flight planning tools.
Throughout the program, the scholarship recipients also will receive mentorship from other pilots.
Upwind Class of 2016
Travis Bender is a junior at Sequoia High School and the son of Jenny and Michael Bender. He often listened in on air traffic control when lifting off on flights “pretending I was someone in the captain’s seat of a massive airliner, heading to a far-away place.” His school’s aviation club charged his passion with a short flight to Santa Rosa where the pilot gave him the controls.
Kyle Caverly is a junior at Army and Navy Academy and the grandson of Jim Granucci and Kibbie Ruth. Helicopters are in his blood and his friends nicknamed him “Kyle Copter” since he can tell you which helicopter it is by its sound. Kyle worked to receive his glider license at the age of 16. He hopes to major in aviation in college and fly helicopters to save lives. “Helicopters seemed able to do anything,” he says.
Leon Lam is a junior at Independence High School and the son of Raymond and Tien Lam. The plastic wings he received from a pilot at the age of 4 is still a souvenir. “You have to love flying… you must have the heart and the desire to maintain focus,” he says. Leon wants to serve his community as a volunteer search and rescue mission pilot for the Civil Air Patrol and work towards becoming a commercial pilot to safely unite people from around the world.
￼Michael Salazar is a junior at Capuchino High School and the son of Michael and Sandra Salazar. Museums, airshows, World War II history channel shows and flight simulator games all spurred his interest in flying. But, it was Michael’s dad that inspired him to pursue a career in aerospace engineering. “Having a license allows me to have first hand experience in planes that I one day hope to design to be more safe and environmentally aware,” he said.
Patrick Shea is a junior at Carlmont High School and the son of Tom and Ellen Shea. To channel his passion, he collected things such as boarding passes and luggage tags and even made a cockpit for a school ceramics project. His interest in aviation led him to volunteer at the Hiller Aviation Museum and to start the Young Aviators Weekend (YAW) program at San Carlos Flight Center. “I’ve learned that once you express interest in aviation, many others can relate and assist with your passion,” he said.