LAKELAND, Florida — The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) on the SUN ‘n FUN campus at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, reports that four more James C. Ray Scholarship recipients have earned their wings.
Each of these students achieved this milestone following very different paths, but together they join a very elite group of young adults who have earned their private pilot certificates before graduating from high school, SUN ‘n FUN officials said.
Scottie Larson (far left), 17, is the president of the Unmanned Squadron Club and a member of the golf team. He is interested in pursuing a career in Aviation Management.
Peter Rust (second from left), 17, has his eye on the U.S. Air Force after graduation and is already pursuing his IFR certificate.
Phillip Barr (far right), 17, is a member of the National Honor Society and golf team. He is interested in pursuing a career in aerospace engineering.
Sean Stoltz (second from right), 17, is a member of the Lakeland Aero Club and is looking to pursue a career as a commercial airline pilot, although a recent encounter with the Blue Angels may entice him to take a second look at options in the military.
The James C. Ray Scholarship is open to all students of Polk County, Florida. Scottie, Peter and Sean attend Central Florida Aerospace Academy on the SUN ‘n FUN campus, while Phillip attends George Jenkins High School Engineering Academy. Both high schools are part of the Polk County Public School System.
Eric Washburn, Flight Scholarship Coordinator, Aerospace Center for Excellence (center left) and John “Lites” Leenhouts, CEO, SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In (center right) were on hand to congratulate the young men on their recent accomplishment.
“These four students may have achieved a similar lifetime milestone but their career aspirations highlight the vast array of opportunities that are possible once you earn a private pilot license,” Leenhouts said. “As we say here at ACE — the sky is just the beginning.”
The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has emerged as a nationally recognized leader in STEM-related and aerospace education through its various learning centers, outreach programs, summer camps, and scholarships aimed at preparing students for tomorrow’s aerospace challenges.
Located on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland, Florida, the organization is known for its annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo fundraising event, as well as the Aerospace Discovery Museum, which is Florida’s Official Aviation Museum and Education Center.