The Florida-based Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) announced last week that its flight scholarship initiative has produced its 100th private pilot. The initiative, which awards scholarships to teenagers with the goal of “developing the next generation of aerospace professionals,” began in 2012. There are currently 40 pilots in training in the program.
“When we rolled out the program, we were optimistic about the incredible initial response, but we soon realized that we had a more meaningful opportunity—we could be an example for other organizations to follow,” said ACE CEO John “Lites” Leenhouts. “By creating a successful process for awarding scholarships, then mentoring deserving young people through their private pilot training, we defined a groundbreaking path that was not only innovative but could be easily replicated.”
According to ACE, it provides over $400,000 in scholarships annually and awards up to four new scholarships each month. The scholarships are supported by the James C. Ray Foundation and the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo.