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Upwind private pilot scholarship open to teens

California community, students give back to aviation program

The Upwind Summer Scholarship Program, which gives high school students a chance to earn their private pilot certificate in the summer between their junior and senior year, is accepting applications for its 2015 scholarship.

The program will provide for everything a student needs to complete the certificate: ground school instruction and supporting materials, the FAA knowledge test, the third class medical exam, flight instruction, mentoring, phase checks, and the checkride. Applications are due Feb. 27 and may be downloaded online.

Program spokesperson Terry Fiala said funding for the organization, which is seeking nonprofit status, comes from donations by local pilots and businesses. This year, ground and flight instruction will be conducted at San Carlos Flight Center in California, so Fiala said preference is given to candidates who are nearby. “We feel that flying is very, very local,” she said. All four previous winners continue to fly, she added, and the two 2014 winners now work at the front desk of the flight center on weekends. Scholarship winners also give back to the program by mentoring other students in the program.

The Upwind scholarship winner will be selected in March and ground training begins shortly thereafter. Flight training begins in June. Scholarship candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents, at least 17 years old before program completion in late August, and have no criminal record. The scholarship winner is expected to maintain good grades and academic standing throughout the period of training, prioritize training, and participate in other Upwind activities, among other requirements. The program will determine how many scholarships it is able to offer in 2015 based on donations.

Looking for more information on scholarships? AOPA administers a scholarship program for student pilots of all ages; applications for the 2015 AOPA Flight Training Scholarship Program will be available by May 22. Or check out more news related to scholarships here.

Sarah Deener
Sarah Deener
Senior Director of Publications
Senior Director of Publications Sarah Deener is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and has worked for AOPA since 2009.
Topics: Scholarship, Training and Safety, Training and Safety

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