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Ray Scholars Gather at Social
By Christina Basken
July 24, 2019 - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 hosted and welcomed 33 of 75 young recipients of the Ray Aviation Scholarship on Monday.
Through the generous support of the Ray Foundation, EAA provides up to $10,000 to deserving youths for their flight training expenses, totaling $1,000,000 in scholarships annually.
"It's fantastic to have 33 of our currently 75 Ray scholars here in Oshkosh, I can't think of a better place than AirVenture for these kids to spend time around other aviation enthusiasts, chapter members, and just people within the industry to learn, get motivated, and go back to their home airport to finish up their flight training," said Chapter Field Representative II David Leiting.
Director of the Ray Aviation Scholars Program Chuck Ahearn said, "With women in aviation at a low percentage, accounting for 6 percent of the pilot community across the industry, EAA is proud to announce that 30 percent of the recipients are not only females, but extremely hard-working, talented, and well-deserving recipients."
Recipient Jazmin Spreiter currently has 21 hours under her belt and hopes to solo when she gets back home from Oshkosh.
"I wanted to go to UND or a college that had a flight school, but that wasn't an option for me because my parents didn't have enough money and my GPA wasn't good enough to get scholarships for college out of high school," Jazmin said. "I just kind of felt stuck for a while. I was cleaning people's airplanes and working [at] a local airport to get hours, and I was trying to scramble everything I had to pay for flight lessons. Without this scholarship, I would have gotten really far behind, and I might have even given up on my dream."
Chuck said his favorite part of this event is the overwhelming enthusiasm of the adults and chapter members.
"We're carrying on James Ray's mission, and his mission was to help young people in this country develop life skills through aviation," Chuck said. "If you have the discipline to go through flight training successfully, you have the discipline to go through anything you want to do successfully."