FREDERICK, MD – Rhea County senior Will Boles has been named one of 23 students in the nation to receive a $5,000 scholarship through the 2017 AOPA You Can Fly High School Flight Training Scholarship Program.
As long as he can remember, Will has enjoyed a love for airplanes. But it wasn’t until his freshman year, that he became serious about aviation as a career path.
“It’s my happy place,” states Boles who already has more than 40 hours flight time under his belt. In addition to flying, he’s an offensive lineman for the Rhea County Golden Eagle Football Team.
Boles plans to use the $5,000 scholarship money to continue his studies at the Aerospace Professional Pilot program at Middle Tennessee State University.
The $115,000 scholarship program, which is made possible by donations to the AOPA Foundation, is part of the AOPA High School Aviation Initiative that works to create and support high school aviation science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, and helps to further career opportunities for the next generation of aviation and aerospace professionals.
“We are very excited to support these 12 young men and 11 young women’s passion for aviation by helping them pursue their dreams of flight,” said Cindy Hasselbring, AOPA senior director of the High School Aviation Initiative. “This scholarship program is just one way that AOPA’s You Can Fly program is supporting and inspiring the next generation of aviators.”
The AOPA High School Aviation Initiative is one of the components of You Can Fly, an umbrella program to build the pilot community with initiatives to support flying clubs, encourage best practices in flight training, get lapsed pilots back in the air, bring AOPA’s resources and expertise to pilot groups across the country, and help high school students learn about careers in aviation.
The following students were named recipients of the AOPA You Can Fly High School Flight Training Scholarships: Sinan Abdulhak, Michigan; Vernecelyn Allen, Tennessee; Owen Bock, California; William Boles, Tennessee; Madison Bowe, Colorado; Ryan Coats, Arizona; Abigail Dang, Hawaii; Jacqueline Emery, Texas; Luke Harry, Michigan; Samuel Hince, California; Rondin Hines, Maine; Emily Kruse, Oregon; Christopher Lambert, Washington; Saira Martinez, South Carolina; Payton Mercer, Georgia; Emily Parrish, Ohio; Alexandra Philip, Texas; Shelby Schulz, Missouri; Kyle Shaffer, Colorado; Carly Shukiar, California; John Sitter, Wisconsin; Sophia Taylor-Home, California; and Mihir Trivdedi, California.
Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly by creating an environment that gives people of all ages the opportunity to enjoy aviation and all it has to offer. As the world’s largest community of pilots and aviation enthusiasts with representatives based in Frederick, Md., Washington, D.C., Wichita, Kans., and seven regions across the United States, AOPA’s events, initiatives, and services bring current and future pilots together and make aviation more accessible to everyone. To learn more, visit www.aopa.org.