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Teens offered Vermont soaring scholarships

Nonprofit funds overnight camp experiences

Flight Experience for Youth (FEFY), a nonprofit organization that seeks to introduce young people to aviation, is offering up to $15,000 in full and partial scholarships for the Sugarbush Soaring Overnight Youth Soaring Camp in Warren, Vermont, for kids ages 13 to 18.

Photo courtesy of Sugarbush Soaring.

Located in the Mad River Valley of Vermont, Sugarbush Soaring’s Youth Soaring Camps invite kids with a passion for aviation to learn the essentials of piloting an aircraft and take part in valuable hands-on lessons in leadership; critical thinking; and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects.

The scholarships will cover (or partially cover) the cost of tuition, valued at $3,700 for a full scholarship. No prior flight experience is necessary.

Scholarship recipients will take part in a weeklong experience that includes 10 instructional flights conducted by experienced FAA-certificated flight instructors in two-seat gliders, ground school, meals, supervised overnight camping on the airport, and other activities in the Mad River Valley.

Former recipient of the Luke Hammer Memorial Scholarship Dane Liebermann, who went on to earn his private pilot certificate for gliders, said, “For me, the camp was a huge success, as I came out of it with my first solo flight under my belt. The experience of living at the airport and flying consistently really helped me to focus and allowed me to progress. I loved the balance of freedom and structure, and I was able to build strong bonds with both the instructors and my fellow campers.”

Photo courtesy of Sugarbush Soaring.

Liebermann worked on the Sugarbush Soaring line crew for four years, and as a counselor at the Youth Soaring Camp for two years.

“The scholarships are aimed at increasing the diversity and inclusiveness of soaring, making aviation more accessible to groups with low participation rates in the sport,” the organization explained in a press release.

Anyone with a strong interest in aviation and STEM can apply for the two general scholarships; the Luke Hammer Memorial Scholarship is for Vermont residents only. Women and minority groups (who have low participation rates in aviation) are encouraged to apply.

The scholarship application is open until March 15. Winners will be announced no later than April 7. Visit the website for more information and to apply.

Sugarbush Soaring operates out of the Warren-Sugarbush Airport and has been running youth soaring camps for teens for over 20 years. In 2021 and 2022 FEFY awarded more than $24,000 in soaring camp scholarships.

Photo courtesy of Sugarbush Soaring.

Niki Britton

eMedia Content Producer
eMedia Content Producer Niki Britton joined AOPA in 2021. She is a private pilot who enjoys flying her 1969 Cessna 182 and taking aerial photographs.
Topics: Aviation Education Programs

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