The Blake Chapman Young Eagles Scholarship allows the local Chapter 1049 of the Experimental Aircraft Association to provide funding for a high school junior or senior from Teton Valley, Idaho to earn their Private Pilot Certificate. This amazing opportunity can not only set them up on an incredible career path but also allow them to develop a sense of self-confidence and maturity that will carry them far in life.
The flight training is conducted at our local flight school, Teton Aviation at the Driggs Airport. The student begins with both one-on-one and small group instruction in the classroom and then in the airplane. Their first major milestone in training is their first solo flight. This becomes a defining moment in every pilot’s life. Their instructor will step out of the plane and the student becomes the pilot in command as they taxi out for their first take-off and landing all by themselves. It is an incredible feeling and achievement that our scholarship winners are very fortunate to experience.
Throughout the summer months, the student will continue mastering the skills and knowledge required to safely and proficiently fly the airplane and make all the decisions required to operate safely. The process culminates with a final test called a check-ride. This is a test with an examiner that requires them to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through both an oral exam and a flight test. The process can be quite stressful and possibly the hardest test they will take in their lifetime but learning to manage that stress and perform to their full potential is a very valuable achievement.
The experience comes full circle when students pass their check-ride and can then use their new privileges to take excited family and friends on flights, which proves that the journey was well worth the effort and challenge. The lessons that they learn not just about flying a plane but how to manage workload, time, stress, and decision making will carry them far in life. The self-esteem, confidence, and sense of achievement they develop will last a lifetime.
Any contributions the community can make to the Blake Chapman Young Eagles Scholarship will help set these lucky scholarship recipients up on a path to success in the skies and beyond.