Aviation Exploring is a national program for youth with an interest in learning more about aviation and aviation careers. Participants meet on a regular basis in a club setting with aviation mentors and other like-minded youth. Through a series of engagement opportunities including tours, guest speakers and educational presentations, participants learn about the vast career opportunities available as pilots, mechanics, aerospace engineers, and more.
Exploring also offers opportunities for members to assume leadership positions within their posts, a great boost as they transition into post-secondary education or career training. Since its founding in 1941 (as the Air Scouts), Aviation Exploring has been a tremendous ambassador for aviation a hands-on way for young people to learn new skills.
How does the scholarship program work?
The Aviation Exploring Scholarship program was created nearly 20 years ago to assist Aviation Explorers in the pursuit of their aviation dreams. To date, nearly one million dollars has been used by Explorers for flight training, maintenance technician school, avionics training, and other aviation career pursuits. Winners are chosen by the national Aviation Exploring committee.
Does it work?
Yes it does. Listen to some past winners and you'll see what a difference it makes. Past scholarship recipient Nick Meyer credits this award with jumpstarting his career in aviation:
"The scholarship allowed me to earn my private pilot license in high school. In December 2016, I graduated from the University of North Dakota with honors with degrees in Air Traffic Control and Aviation Management, along with my commercial, multi, instrument, and sea ratings. Not only is this a hobby of mine, but I plan to make it a career. I am in the hiring process with the FAA as an air traffic controller. I have accumulated over 700 hours of flight time, all over the US, in many different aircraft. In September, I won the National Aerobatic Championship (Primary Category) held under EAA’s IAC, competing on behalf of UND’s Aerobatic team. This was the first aviation scholarship I had ever received, and it encouraged me to pursue more."
Scholarship recipient James Gilmore describes his experience:
"The scholarship helped me complete the last few hours of my training required for my Private Pilot certificate, which I then went on to complete. With that boost from the scholarship, I was able to then begin my instrument training at Arizona State University in partnership with ATP Flight School, which led me to ultimately decide that flying was something that I want to keep doing as a hobby but that I want to pursue a career in the aviation world in a management position."
How Can you help?
Funds for the scholarship have traditionally been raised through an appeal to general aviation businesses. In an effort to centralize fundraising and guarantee the fundraising goal is met, The Sporty’s Foundation has accepted the fundraising task. This aligns with the mission of The Sporty’s Foundation, which is focused on ensuring young people are exposed to aviation as a potential career and as a lifestyle. The Foundation supports programs that will make a lasting impact on the aviation community. Scholarships offered through Aviation Exploring meet all these criteria and more.
To support the Aviation Exploring Scholarship Program, visit SportysFoundation.org. Here you can learn about our work to support the future of aviation, and have the option to help support our mission through an online, tax-deductible donation. Please know that 100% of donations received by The Sporty’s Foundation are used to fund programs like the Aviation Exploring. All administrative expenses for the Foundation are underwritten by Sporty’s Pilot Shop.
Thank you for your support!