The Upwind Foundation has named four San Francisco Bay Area high school juniors as the Upwind Summer Scholarship Class of 2019: Jackson Collins of Mountain View, Ashton Hacke of Half Moon Bay, Ben Son of Fremont, and Megan Stretch of San Mateo.
In the accelerated flight training program, the aspiring young aviators will aim to earn their private pilot’s certificate after nine weeks of intensive instruction.
“This scholarship rejuvenates general aviation by welcoming in the next generation of pilots,” said Upwind Executive Director Herb Patten. “More importantly, it has a positive impact on the lives of four high school students by preparing them to take on the responsibilities of Pilot in Command.”
Upwind was created by Bay Area pilots to promote piloting and cultivate interest in general aviation and aviation-related careers. Each year, Upwind selects one or more high school students and provides them with nine weeks of training to prepare them for their airplane private pilot certificate. The scholarship provides ground and flight training with expert instructors, training manuals, charts, and flight planning tools. Throughout the program, the scholarship recipients receive mentorship from other pilots and enjoy many other social and flying activities as new members of the aviation community. This is the seventh year for the program, which has awarded 23 scholarships to date.
The Class of 2019
Jackson Collins is a junior at Los Altos High School and the son of Christina and Lawrence Collins. He has been interested in aviation ever since, as a baby, he sat on the lap of a pilot in the cockpit of a Boeing 737-500. Obtaining his private pilot certificate is a key milestone in achieving his dream job as an airline pilot. After high school he plans to attend junior college to complete his general education and then transfer to a part 141 flight school to train to become an airline pilot.
Ashton Hacke is a junior at Half Moon Bay High School and the son of Annie Russell Zinzuvadia. His passion for aviation bloomed during a presentation about aviation at Half Moon Bay High School. That began his journey to be actively involved in aviation. He began looking for jobs at San Carlos Airport that would allow him to pursue his interest and found one washing planes at San Carlos Flight Center. After obtaining his private pilot certificate, Ashton plans to continue his flight training by pursuing his instrument and then commercial rating.
Ben Son is a junior at Washington High School and the son of Mi Hyoung Choi and Minyoung Son. His passion for aviation started as a young child on a long flight to visit his grandparents. Ben’s goal is to become a commercial pilot. In pursuing that career, he started an aeronautics club at his high school, volunteered at the Oakland Aviation Museum, and worked as an intern at the Hayward Airport. He enjoys sharing his passion with kids that visit the museum and finds joy when he sees a child sparkle at their new knowledge of aviation.
Megan Stretch is a junior at San Mateo High School and the daughter of Heather and Timothy Stretch. She spent the first half of her life near Luke Air Force Base outside of Phoenix and grew up amidst the roar of F16s in afterburner as they tore through the sky. She wants to pursue her interest in aviation, either as a pilot or an aeronautical engineer. Megan’s goals also include being a role model for other young women who have an interest in aviation.