Everybody says that we need more young people involved in aviation, but is anybody doing anything about it? Actually, yes. As part of its You Can Fly High School Aviation Initiative, AOPA has awarded $105,000 in scholarship money to 21 high school students from across the country. The students, ranging in age from 15 to 18, were selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants. Each of the recipients will receive $5,000 to go towards flight training, which will go a long way towards Skyhawk and CFI expenditures. All of the young people selected have been actively involved in aviation, many having volunteered in the aviation community and several already having logged some flight time.
How to bring young people and aviation together is a long-standing question in this industry. Even high schools that have active STEM programs aren’t necessarily focused on how to prepare students who want careers as pilots, aerospace engineers, and aircraft mechanics. By working with Purdue University, AOPA is trying to build aviation STEM curricula that will solidify educational pathways to aviation and aerospace opportunities. In addition, AOPA has hosted two high school aviation STEM symposiums for teachers and administrators. With any luck, not only will more high school students discover an interest in aviation, but they will also have access to the tools they need to get involved.
Learn more at You Can Fly.