This year, American Airlines Pilot Recruiting & Development team are offering flight education grants with a primary focus on high schools using the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association‘s High School Aviation STEM curriculum.
AOPA and each high school have been invited to apply for a grant, which can be as high as $25,000.
In the last several years, American Airlines has granted more than $800,000 through this program.
Grants are awarded based on the potential, creativity, and probability of success of the proposal.
“The AOPA You Can Fly curriculum is really making a difference in the lives of the students in the program and American Airlines recognizes that,” said Brad Morrison, Manager of Pilot Career Recruiting at American Airlines. “Together we will work to build the foundation for a lifetime journey of achievement and success in the cockpit.”
“AOPA is honored to see the confidence American Airlines has in our aviation STEM curriculum,” said Elizabeth Tennyson, Executive Director of You Can Fly. “The program instills a love of flying in young people and prepares students for careers in aviation and aerospace, which not only makes a difference in our industry but also makes a difference in the lives of thousands of young people as they set a course for their future.”
AOPA’s High School Aviation STEM Curriculum became a reality in 2016 with the development of a four-year curriculum for high school classrooms. To date, ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders at 161 schools in 34 states are using the program, which is provided free of charge thanks to donations to the AOPA Foundation.
AOPA collaborated with professional instructional designers and pilots to create the program, which will help students be prepared to achieve a certification or take an industry-accepted test, such as the FAA Private Pilot knowledge test or the Part 107 drone pilot certification.
Approximately 5,000 students in private, public, urban, and rural schools across the country participate in the program. According to AOPA officials, 22% of the students utilizing the aviation STEM curriculum are female and 38% come from underrepresented groups — “a gamechanger for the future aerospace workforce and the face of the aviation industry,” AOPA officials said.