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Ray Foundation Boosts Scholarship Program Heading Into 2020
October 3, 2019 - Thanks to the great work done by EAA chapters through the Ray Aviation Scholarship program and unwavering support from the Ray Foundation, program funding for 2020 has been increased from $1 million to $1.2 million.
The boost in funding from the Ray Foundation comes after only seven months of program operation. As of early October, 96 youths have been awarded a Ray Aviation Scholarship. Of those scholars, nearly 20 have earned their private pilot certificate, while an additional 50 have completed their first solo. Building off these early successes, EAA and the Ray Foundation look forward to growing chapter and scholar participation in 2020.
The $1 million core fund will continue to work the same way it did last year, with EAA chapters able to apply for a $10,000 scholarship grant to fund a qualifying Ray scholar's flight training. The chapter application will be open from November 1 to January 31, 2020, and scholar nominations will open March 1, 2020. Scholars must be nominated prior to November 1, 2020.
An additional $200,000 of funding from the Ray Foundation will be available to chapters that have successfully mentored a Ray scholar in 2019. These chapters will be guaranteed $5,000 in funding for a 2020 scholar if they commit to providing $5,000 in matching funds. In addition, these chapters can nominate scholars beginning on January 1, two months earlier than those participating in the core fund. To be eligible, chapters must have successfully mentored a 2019 scholar through flight training, or must be currently mentoring a scholar who has not yet competed their training. Chapters interested in opting into the matching program may do so between November 1 and December 31.
The intent of the two funds is twofold. EAA hopes to enroll more qualified chapters into the program in 2020, without taking away slots from chapters participating in 2019. The matching component will allow successful chapters to guarantee their slot, while also opening up additional slots in the core fund.
Other changes to the program include a simpler scholar nomination process for easier processing for chapters. Additionally, chapter review of scholar applications will be simplified. Also, a new program handbook will be created to help break down barriers and address other questions that came up throughout the year.
EAA is hosting a webinar on November 12 at 7 p.m. CST that will cover all of the Ray Aviation Scholarship changes, and make sure chapters are equipped to successfully mentor a scholar through flight training. Click here to sign up for the "EAA Ray Aviation Scholarship – 2020 and Beyond" webinar.
Any requests for further information or clarification on the program can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-426-5912.