From Staff Reports
A senior Air Force Junior ROTC cadet at Wylie East High School, Emma Rick, has received a scholarship to attend one of six universities this summer to train for her private pilot license.
The Flight Academy Scholarship Program is a new Air Force initiative in collaboration with the commercial aviation industry to address the national civilian and military pilot shortage. The scholarship, valued at $20,000, covers transportation, room and board, academics and flight hours required to potentially earn a private pilot license.
“I am very excited,” the WEHS senior said. “It will be a good opportunity for me.”
Rick is one of 120 AFJROTC cadets around the world to receive the scholarship from Headquarters AFJROTC, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala. More than 700 cadets applied for one of the 120 scholarships.
The 120 AFJROTC cadets selected for the inaugural Flight Academy and the 250 planned for 2019 represent a small number of the civilian and military pilots needed over the next few years. Civilian airline industry experts project a demand for 117,000 new commercial pilots over the next 20 years and the Air Force currently is short at least 1,500 pilots needed to fulfill its requirements.
“The Flight Academy initiative accomplishes two important tasks simultaneously: it helps get the word out regarding the opportunities in the aviation community and it addresses the issue of diversity throughout the aviation community,” AFJROTC Deputy Director Scott Lewis said.
Rick holds the rank of Cadet Colonel at WEHS and was Corps Commander during the Fall 2018 semester. This spring she is Special Advisor to the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor.