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AOPA names winners of high school flight training scholarships

Editor's note: AOPA corrected the spelling of two scholarship winners' names, Saira Martinez and Mihir Trivedi. We regret the error.

AOPA has named 23 students to receive scholarships from the 2017 AOPA You Can Fly High School Flight Training Scholarship Program.

The AOPA High School Aviation Initiative supports aviation programs and career development for teens. File photo.

The scholarship program, made possible by donations to the AOPA Foundation, is part of the AOPA High School Aviation Initiative that works to create and support high school aviation science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, opening career pathways for the next generation of aviation and aerospace professionals.

“We are very excited to support these 12 young men and 11 young women’s passion for aviation by helping them pursue their dreams of flight,” said Cindy Hasselbring, AOPA senior director of the High School Aviation Initiative. “This scholarship program is just one way that AOPA’s You Can Fly program is supporting and inspiring the next generation of aviators.”

The AOPA High School Aviation Initiative is one of the components of You Can Fly, an umbrella program to build the pilot community with initiatives to support flying clubs, encourage best practices in flight training, get lapsed pilots back in the air, bring AOPA's resources and expertise to pilot groups across the country, and help high school students learn about careers in aviation.

Scholarship winners reacted with joy and surprise when informed of their selection by the AOPA scholarship program team.

“The winners we have contacted by phone were overwhelmed with excitement at the news they won a flight training scholarship,” said Hasselbring. “It was clear to us that flying is something these young men and women cannot live without, it is a passion that has deep roots within them, and we are happy to help that passion grow through assisting them in achieving their dreams.”

Some of the recipients “work three jobs just to make money for two flight lessons a month. Others have already contributed their time to volunteering at airport-related events to inspire younger students in flying,” Hasselbring said. “It is exciting for us to be able to inspire the next leaders in aviation." 

The following students were named recipients of the AOPA You Can Fly High School Flight Training Scholarships: Sinan Abdulhak, Michigan; Vernecelyn Allen, Tennessee; Owen Bock, California; William Boles, Tennessee; Madison Bowe, Colorado; Ryan Coats, Arizona; Abigail Dang, Hawaii; Jacqueline Emery, Texas; Luke Harry, Michigan; Samuel Hince, California; Rondin Hines, Maine; Emily Kruse, Oregon; Christopher Lambert, Washington; Saira Martinez, South Carolina; Payton Mercer, Georgia; Emily Parrish, Ohio; Alexandra Philip, Texas; Shelby Schulz, Missouri; Kyle Shaffer, Colorado; Carly Shukiar, California; John Sitter, Wisconsin; Sophia Taylor-Home, California; and Mihir Trivedi, California.

“AOPA is proud to introduce young people to aviation and the possibilities it offers for productive careers and incomparable adventure,” Hasselbring said.

AOPA’s third annual AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium will be held Nov. 6 and 7 at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, featuring expert speakers from the aviation, STEM, and career and technical education communities. This year’s symposium has been expanded to include more breakout sessions on topics such as unmanned aircraft systems, aerospace engineering, and pilot education; more time to network with fellow participants; and a chance to explore the museum, which features a rare Douglas DC-3 airliner.

AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: AOPA Foundation, You Can Fly, Scholarship

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