By Ted Luebbers
Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534 has awarded a $10,000 Ray Aviation Scholarships to Mateo Colmenero. The money is to be used for flight training towards a private pilot’s certificate.
Mateo has spent four years learning how to build and repair aircraft through EAA Chapter 534’s Aviation Youth Program. It has always been his dream to become a professional pilot and one day fly for an airline.
At the regular meeting of the Aviation Youth Program on June 8, 2019, Mateo described some of the experiences he has had during his first three lessons and it was clear to see that he was enjoying the experience and learning a lot. His eyes lit up and he was smiling from ear to ear as he talked about learning to do turns, slow flight, and landing.
He is taking his dual instruction flight training and ground school at Sunair Aviation at Leesburg International Airport in Florida. He’s training in the school’s Cessna 152.
He just completed his freshman year at Lake Sumter State College, where he is studying general education.
Due to the national shortage of pilots and aircraft mechanics, the Ray Foundation and the Experimental Aircraft Association are doing all they can to inspire and financially help young people fill these ranks.
EAA will give out 100 $10,000 scholarships during 2019 through their local chapters, who nominate young people for this award. As time moves on, these chapters will be eligible to continue to award a scholarship each year to a young person who qualifies. EAA Chapter 534 hopes to be able to grant another scholarship next year to a deserving member of its Aviation Youth Program.