The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has awarded $5,000 flight training scholarships to 21 high school students through the association’s You Can Fly High School Aviation Initiative.
The scholarships, awarded to students age 15 to 18 who intend to earn an initial pilot certificate, were made possible by donations to the AOPA Foundation.
The 13 young men and eight young women awarded scholarships were selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants.
AOPA’s High School Aviation Initiative is part of You Can Fly, an umbrella program created to bring more people into aviation by educating high school students about aviation career opportunities, helping lapsed pilots return to flying, lowering barriers to entry, reducing the cost of flying, and building the aviation community, You Can Fly is helping people of all ages get involved with aviation, AOPA officials noted.
Each scholarship recipient will also receive a gift certificate for MYGOFLIGHT products, made possible by MYGOFLIGHT’s Pilot ONE scholarship assist program to help more people become pilots.
“Providing flight training scholarships for high school students not only helps them achieve their lifelong dreams of becoming a pilot, it can help build career-ready skills that get them well on their way to their future,” said Cindy Hasselbring, senior director of the You Can Fly High School Aviation Initiative. “We couldn’t be more pleased with our winners, and these individuals have already demonstrated a strong passion for aviation. Many of them are already involved in giving back to aviation by volunteering or serving at local airports, high school clubs, or in their communities.”
As part of the high school initiative, AOPA is working with Purdue University to build aviation STEM curricula that fit within career and technical education (CTE) pathways and are focused on piloting, aerospace engineering, aviation technology, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or drones.
AOPA also hosts an annual high school STEM symposium to give teachers and administrators an opportunity to share best practices and network with other aviation education professionals.