Seven AHS students stood Tuesday in front of a crowd of parents, flight instructors and members of the Aspen Flight Academy, and signed their acceptance letters for flight training school.
The students: William Haneman, Fiona Benvenutu, Saffron DeBacker, Arielle Washburn, Aiden Knight, Colin Luu, and Keyton Young are each a winner of a $10,000 Flight Training Scholarship funded by Atlantic Aviation.
The scholarships were awarded to students who demonstrated a strong passion for aviation and a commitment to pursuing their dreams of becoming pilots.
Atlantic Aviation has been a supporter of the Aspen Flight Academy since 2014. The program launched in October 2022 with the goal of being inclusive. Today, 40 percent of their students are female.
"Aspen Flight Academy has over 100 high schools students in the program and operates three new airplanes. Three top graduates from Purdue are teaching and training our high school students how to become private pilots," said Jeff Posey, president of AFA and a pilot for more than 30 years. "We are one of the top high school flight academies in the U.S. and hope to continue our growth by partnering with companies like Atlanic Aviation."
The Flight Training Scholarship was created to support aspiring pilots in their pursuit of a career in aviation. The scholarship provides $10,000 in financial assistance to each of the students to help cover the cost of flight training, and is designed to help recipients achieve their goals and take the first step towards a fulfilling career in the aviation industry. Four students from Roaring Fork High School also received scholarships.
"We are thrilled to award these scholarships to such deserving candidates," said Jonathan Jones, General Manager of Atlantic Aviation at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. "We believe that these scholarship recipients have the potential to make significant contributions to the aviation industry, and we look forward to seeing them achieve their goals."
The scholarship recipients will receive flight training from the Aspen Flight Academy (AFA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers youth to learn about the joys and responsibilities of flying by providing students with classroom and flight training needed to pilot aircraft.
"These students are the future of aviation and next generation pilots," said Garrett Seddon, Aspen School District Aviation Director and Instructor of Aeronautics. "Aspen School District appreciates our great partnership with AFA. It is a critical component in training our students in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and giving them the opportunity to become certificated pilots."