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Florida's ACE school awards $110K in college scholarshipsFlorida's ACE school awards $110K in college scholarships

Lakeland Aero Club's Sean Stolz recognized as 'Top Gun'Lakeland Aero Club's Sean Stolz recognized as 'Top Gun'

The Aerospace Center for Excellence awarded $110,000 in college scholarships to eight aviation students and selected Lakeland Aero Club Vice President and graduating Central Florida Aerospace Academy student Sean Stolz as the class of 2020's overall "Top Gun."

Lakeland Aero Club Vice President and graduating Central Florida Aerospace Academy student Sean Stolz was presented the Aerospace Center for Excellence Top Gun Citation of Merit for his outstanding scholastic achievements, exemplary character, and motivational leadership to student aviators. Photo courtesy of Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo.

Stolz was recognized by the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, which is closely affiliated with the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo. He was acknowledged for his “outstanding scholastic accomplishment, exemplary character and motivating leadership.” The graduating high school senior was recognized by the group as “an influential moving force in the future of the aerospace industry” for his community service and work ethic. He received a $5,000 Top Gun Citation of Merit award plus an additional $5,000 scholarship for winning the Catshot Award—named after the catapult device that launches aviators with their airplanes from the flight decks of aircraft carriers.

Stolz’s nameplate was added to the fuselage of a Grumman F–14 Tomcat military jet on display outside the school grounds to serve “as inspiration for the underclassmen” of the nearby learning institution. Stoltz plans to major in aviation meteorology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University while pursuing an A&P certificate.

A June 11 ceremony recognized all eight students with renewable yearly scholarships in amounts varying from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on their county of residence in Florida, with the larger awards going to Polk County residents.

Isaac Castallanos was among the eight Central Florida Aerospace Academy graduates receiving financial awards for future aviation education. He is joined in the photo by Aerospace Center for Excellence President John "Lites" Leenhouts and Chairman of the Board Rick Garcia. Photo courtesy of Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo.Financial donors included the Ray Foundation, which also helps fund the AOPA You Can Fly scholarships.

The additional Central Florida Aviation Academy students who were awarded scholarships are: Noel Bell, who plans to pursue aviation management at Southeastern University; Isaac Castallanos, who plans to pursue aerospace science at Polk State College; Jonathan Fortin, who plans to pursue aerospace science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Colin Jimenez, who is currently completing his private pilot certificate; Christopher Lopez, who plans to pursue aerospace engineering at  the University of Florida; Autumn Richarz, who plans to pursue aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; and Tyler Wood, who plans to pursue aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Flight School, Scholarship

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