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Ray Aviation Scholarships Awarded to 23 Young Pilots

April 24, 2019The first large group of Ray Aviation Scholarships have been awarded to 23 young people who will now be financially supported for their flight training activities and mentored by EAA chapters in their home areas.

The Ray Aviation Scholarship program, announced by EAA in January, seeks to improve the flight training success rate from the current 20 percent level to 80 percent for those participating in the scholarship program. The program is managed by EAA and administered through its chapter network. EAA chapters will be responsible for identifying youths for the program and mentoring them through flight training.

“More than 230 EAA chapters expressed interest in the Ray Aviation Scholarship program and we are thrilled to announce the first major group of scholarship awards,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice present of communities and member programs. “Within this group of 23 scholarship recipients, 22 of them are former EAA Young Eagles and seven attended the EAA Air Academy as they discovered their passion for flight.”

In addition, 10 of the scholarship recipients participated in the Sporty’s Online Learn to Fly Course, which is available free of charge to all EAA Young Eagles.

The Ray Foundation has provided $1 million to EAA to fund Ray Aviation Scholarships for up to 100 young people. Scholarship namesake James Ray, who died in April 2017, was a longtime supporter of EAA programs and youth initiatives. One of his most visible areas of support was financing the EAA Air Academy Lodge that opened in 1998. This residence facility supports the annual EAA Air Academy, the world’s longest running aviation youth camp, which is held in Oshkosh each summer.

EAA chapters will play a critical role in the success of the Ray Aviation Scholarship program. Chapters interested in participating must be prequalified by EAA through an application process. If selected, they will mentor and support the scholarship recipient throughout their flight training journey. As a Ray Aviation Scholarship Fund participant, candidates will also commit to volunteer service with the local EAA chapter.

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