Forty-two aviation enthusiasts are on their way to earning their pilot certificates thanks to generous donations to the AOPA Foundation in 2016. Two more will be able to attend aviation summer camps, and another will receive financial assistance to pursue a flight science degree in college. The foundation provided $196,000 in scholarships to people ranging from high school teenagers to adults.
“This is one of the most tangible ways we can build the pilot population—helping one student pilot at a time,” said Mike Tompos, AOPA Foundation vice president of philanthropy. “We are privileged to be able to use pilots’ donations to help fulfill others’ dream of learning to fly.”
Another 21 aviation enthusiasts won $5,000 scholarships in December. Gifts to the foundation funded these scholarships for AOPA’s You Can Fly High School Aviation Initiative. The high school students ranged from 15 to 18 years of age, and all have ambitious aviation plans for their futures. Now, they have a little extra help to get over the first step: earning their initial pilot certificate.
Also in December, AOPA notified seven AV8RS scholarship winners funded by donations to the foundation. Four of the seven scholarships were to help the students pursue their pilot certificates, two were to help students attend aviation summer camps, and one was to put toward a college education for an aviation degree. AOPA AV8RS is a membership tier for teens ages 13 to 18; the foundation covers the cost of membership.
The foundation also funds the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s free online courses and in-person seminars; You Can Fly efforts to grow the pilot population and help rusty pilots get back in the air; AOPA's programs to promote community airports; and the association's efforts to improve the public’s perception of general aviation.
“Your donation to the AOPA Foundation helps prospective and already certificated pilots alike,” Tompos said. “You have a direct impact on the vitality and future of general aviation.”
The AOPA Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.