Scholarships funded by the Ray Foundation went to 80 high school students and 20 high school aviation teachers, who each will receive $10,000 for training toward the private pilot certificate. Donations to the AOPA Foundation from the pilot community funded an additional 17 primary flight training scholarships and seven advanced rating scholarships of varying amounts.
“These scholarships are all about helping people reach their dreams,” said AOPA Foundation Executive Director Melissa Rudinger. “The aviation community knows the immense value of learning to fly and has generously helped fund scholarships for 124 students, teachers, and pilots to help them experience the same sense of joy and accomplishment.”
The scholarships, available exclusively to AOPA members, are part of the AOPA You Can Fly program, an array of initiatives to build a larger, more vibrant pilot community.
High school students and teachers can use the funds for the private, sport, or recreational pilot certificate, and recipients must either solo or earn their certificate within one year of receiving the scholarship.
The primary flight training scholarships were open to members at least 16 years of age and range from $2,500 to $7,500 for training toward the private, sport, or recreational pilot certificate. Advanced rating scholarships range from $3,000 to $10,000 and can be applied toward the instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, certificated flight instructor and instrument instructor certificates, and multiengine instructor certificate.
“We not only want to help people get started with their primary training but also continue their training for more advanced certificates and ratings to promote safety and careers in aviation,” Rudinger said.