The program supports the dreams of young aviators. Pictured above are Lightspeed Aviation President and Co-Founder Allan Schrader and Hobie Lippold, 2020 Ray Scholar.
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (July 29, 2021) — The Experimental Aircraft Association’s Ray Aviation Scholarship fund is the difference to more than 275 young aviators who can now achieve their dreams of flight.
The Ray Foundation provides the Experimental Aircraft Association up to $10,000 to deserving youth aviators to cover their flight training expenses. That support totaled $1 million in 2019 and $1.2 million each in 2020 and 2021.
“The Ray Foundation has supported many EAA initiatives over the years, which has extended EAA’s ability to grow participation in aviation,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programming. “This builds on the Ray Foundation’s long relationship with EAA that has included supporting the construction of the Air Academy Lodge, which has hosted hundreds of young people each summer to give them the opportunity to learn more about aviation.”
Since the first Ray Aviation Scholarship was awarded in 2019, 276 young people have received support to fully fund their flight training. Of that group, 133 have already earned their pilot certificate.
There are EAA chapter and scholar eligibility requirements for the Ray Aviation Scholarship that indicate a commitment to success. Once a chapter is approved for the program, it nominates the chosen scholar for EAA’s final review. Many chapters are granted the full $10,000 for their selected scholar, but some chapters have committed 50 percent of the award, to secure their slot in the program. All EAA and divisional chapters are eligible for a grant up to $10,000.
As a supporter of the EAA Ray Aviation Scholarship, the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation also partnered with the scholarship program to recognize the young aviators for their achievements. Lightspeed awards a Lightspeed Zulu 3 headset to all scholarship recipients who have completed specific flight training milestones. Thanks to the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation, 177 scholars are sporting brand new Zulu 3 headsets.
“The dedication of EAA chapter scholarship recipients and the Ray Foundation make the program a success, despite the past years challenges, meeting a need to create the next generation of aviators,” Larsen said.
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and embodies The Spirit of Aviation through the world’s most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA’s 240,000 members and 900 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org. For continual news updates, connect with www.twitter.com/EAA.