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Cadet Youth Flight Scholarship

The Soaring Society of America's welcome to young people who want to learn to fly. 

An annual award of up to $600 for non-pilots.  Deadline for applications is June 30th.

Photo #2174 | StoiaThe Cadet Scholarship is a grassroots effort to get young people acquainted with soaring. It is named after the first "utility" training glider in production, built for "air-minded youth" of the 1930s. The Cadet featured an enclosed fuselage and landing wheel, reasonable soaring performance yet rugged construction: an all-in-one beginner's glider.

On July 2, 1930, a Cadet made the first soaring flight from Harris Hill, Elmira, NY. Jack O'Meara's one-and-a-half hours in the air cemented the choice of the site for the first National Glider Contest that Fall. The National Soaring Museum stands there today.

Winners of scholarships and several smaller prizes are selected each year from young non-pilot applicants who visit a USA gliderport and make a good case via an essay and vita for their desire to learn to fly, financial need, and promise in other aspects of life.

Promotion of the contest is a cooperation between the Soaring Society of America (SSA), which supplies standard posters (170K PDF file) and application form (34K PDF file), and local soaring Clubs and Schools, who put up the posters, answer questions, and do the training: when one of their entries wins, they win.

The sponsors of this program, from throughout the USA soaring community, hope the contest will introduce the sport and spark many beginnings towards a lifetime of soaring enjoyment. For some award winners, it will be an ideal ground-floor to an aviation career. Wish to help sponsor this effort?  You can, either by sending a check payable to SSA/Cadet to the SSA office, or donate online at Cadet Scholarship fund.

RULES for the CADET Scholarship Contest

  • OPEN TO AGES 13-22, inclusive, as of June 30. (A reasonable overlap of the limits of school age, SSA Youth membership, and FAA regulations)
  • FOR NON-PILOTS: Flying experience short of FAA Student Certificate (solo pilot) in any aircraft category, with consideration decreasing with experience. (Flying has to be tried to be appreciated. Some young people are burning to go further but unable to)
  • FIRST PRIZE (up to 4): Up to a $600 check, co-written to the winner and the USA Soaring Club or Commercial Operator that sponsors the entry. (The prize must be used for glider flying lessons. Payment will only go to responsible training operations)
  • SECOND PRIZE (up to 4): Introductory books on gliding and soaring.
  • THIRD PRIZE (up to 6): A one year Youth membership in SSA, including 12 issues of Soaring magazine. (SSA is the USA governing body for the sport of soaring in sailplanes)
  • ENTRY DEADLINE is June 30. Winners will generally be contacted by Fall each year.
  • JUDGING will be by the Cadet Scholarship committee within the SSA Youth Sub-Committee. (The number of prizes awarded may vary based on entries received)
  • APPLICATION is to include an essay and a curriculum vitae on a special form. (34K PDF file). (Good writers are welcome additions to the aesthetically-oriented soaring community. Space will be included to document talents in academic, athletic, and social areas; also financial need. Most important is to offer evidence of a high desire to learn to fly )
  • ESSAYS must concern some aspect of Soaring Flight and be original work by the applicant. They must be typed and not exceed 400 words. (Many subjects are possible: Technical, historical; models, birds, hang-gliders, paragliders; clubs, contests, crewing; flight stories, fiction, interviews, "why I want to soar", ... Note: essays on powerplants, airline careers, or military fighters miss the point: "soaring" flight only, please!)
  • FORMS are at most soaring sites and may be downloaded from the CYFS web page.
  • APPLICATIONS must be counter-signed ("witnessed") by a member or staffer, at a named Club or Commercial Operator soaring site (Where applicants can directly observe our social, adventurous, ecological sport. SSA maintains a national directory on the web)
  • SEND witnessed applications to: Cadet Scholarship, SSA, PO Box 2100, Hobbs, NM 88241-2100.

Posted: 10/23/2010