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Squadron 2 Awards Five Scholarships to Cascade Area Youth


WOA Squadron 2 is in its fourth year of awarding scholarships to deserving area youth. We concentrate on teens in the 16- to 18-year-old group who plan some phase of aviation in the future. Also, we’ve expanded our offerings this year to appeal to more students. In 2010 we continued our partnership with EAA for their Air Academy in Oshkosh during AirVenture. The first selectee this year is Nik Steele, a resident of Rochester, Washington, and a recent graduate of Tumwater High School. Nik has had a very busy several years. He is already enrolled in South Puget Sound Community College and has been a member of the Lewis County CAP for the past two years. As if that wasn’t enough, while in high school he was selected to the U.N. Youth Program.

Nik is well on his way toward his aviation goal. He’s a line worker for Jorgensen Air Service at the Olympia Airport and a volunteer at the Olympia Museum, and he has even managed to log over 45 hours flight time in seven different aircraft models. Nik is looking for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy and will apply for flight school after graduation; he hopes to become a Navy fighter pilot.

Our second attendee at the Air Academy will be Katie Brueske of Olympia, Washington. She’s also a recent graduate of Tumwater High School where she spent several years involved in different aspects of music. She was a member of and participated with such diverse groups as Women’s Choir, Concert Choir, and the Olympia Youth Chorus. Katie’s passion for flying centers around the utility of aircraft; she wants to become a pilot so she can participate in lifesaving flights to areas inaccessible by other means. We wish her the best.

This year we expanded our program by teaming with Wings Aloft, a flight school located on Boeing Field in Seattle. Scholarship winners will be enrolled in Private Pilot Ground School and will also have the opportunity to take two flights in a Cessna 172, both of which can be logged as dual received.

Our first student pilot is Jessika Montgomery. She’s a graduate of Granite Falls High School where she’s already a member of the CAP and an Honor Cadet to boot. While in high school, she was a member of the Honor Society, played soccer and softball, and even lettered in track. She was also in Air Force JROTC; a graduate of the Cadet Officer Leadership School; and a member of the Kitty Hawk Air Society. Last summer, she volunteered nearly a week at the Arlington Fly-In where she spent her time in and around the military vehicle exhibit. Her primary goals are to become an aeronautical engineer and earn her private pilot certificate. We have no doubt she will.
Brandan Brink is the second student who will be attending the ground school at Wings Aloft. He’s a junior at the Central Kitsap High School in Silverdale, and his experiences are as varied. He spent ten years with the Tracyton Soccer Club and eight years as a Royal Ranger. He’s a lifeguard at the Olympic Aquatic Center in Silverdale and also a member of the Civil Air Patrol where he likes to help marshal aircraft. Brandan plans to attend the University of Washington after high school and earn a degree in aeronautical engineering. He hopes one day to become an airline pilot.

Our third selectee for the new ground school scholarship program is Johnson Vi. Johnson is a 2010 graduate of Renton High School, Renton Washington, where he spent his after-school hours each year participating in baseball, football, and boxing. Johnson will enroll in South Seattle Community College this fall and major in aviation maintenance technology. After earning his associate degree, he plans to attend Central Washington University and earn a degree in aviation flight maintenance. Ultimately, he would like a career as either an airframe and powerplant mechanic or as a professional pilot. We expect he could do either.

Cascade Warbirds would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners, both EAA and Wings Aloft, for the parts they’re playing in bringing these aviation possibilities to our area youth. Their contributions are acknowledged and appreciated.


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