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SSA Costello Flight Training Scholarship Recipients



John Aguillard

Progress/Achievement Date Further info

Griffin Weiss

Progress/Achievement Date Further info




Rebecca Harmon

Dear Mr. Pat Costello,Photo #15924 | Rebecca Harmon Solo

Thank you very much for your generosity in funding the Costello Insurance Youth Scholarship of which I am a recipient this year. I am so excited to have received this! I am 16yrs. old and live in Southern New Hampshire and am going to be a Junior in high school in the fall. I love sports and am on the ski team at school where I race and also play goalie for the lacrosse team and was recently awarded “Player of the Year”. I also love to fly gliders! I started taking lessons in August of 2017 at the Franconia, NH airport in the White Mountains and belong to the Franconia Soaring Club. I spend as many weekends as possible from May thru September taking lessons and helping out. There is not one second that I don’t absolutely love while I am at the airport. Last week I made it to sixty glider flights which was very exciting!

I have big goals this summer when it comes to gliding! I hope to pass the FAA knowledge exam and then get my private pilot’s license. Last September, at the age of fifteen, I soloed for the first time in a glider and hopefully within the next year I will be a rated glider pilot!

Thank you, again for your generosity and support. This scholarship will help me pay for tows and lessons this summer and enable me to pursue my goals and dream of becoming a pilot!


Rebecca Harmon

Progress/Achievement Date Further info
 Solo SGS 2-33A  9/15/2018  Franconia Soaring Association

Sinead Nichols

Dear Mr Costello,                                                                           June 6, 2019Photo #15932 | Sinead First Solo

Thank you for the opportunity to expand my career. I am grateful for receiving the Costello Youth Scholarship and will use it to achieve my goals of becoming a glider pilot.

It was a nice surprise to be given the scholarship at the pilots meeting in Moriarty, New Mexico, during the 1-26 Championships, before going out to the grid to launch gliders. I have been learning a lot from participating in the competition.  I've met great people from all over the United States and appreciate all their support. I have had the opportunity to lead the launches from the grid and have fun while doing so.         

Photo #15933 | Sinead receives CostI will strive to keep doing what I have been doing and this scholarship will help tremendously. 

Thank you again for funding the scholarship and hope to continue flying for many years to come.




Sinead Nichols

[Sinead receives SSA Costello Flight Training Scholarship]

Progress/Achievement Date Further info
 Glider solo  Sept 2018 White Sands Soaring Association



Joelle Sherbeck

Photo #15923 | Joelle Sherbeck PromDear Pat Costello,

Thank you so much for the scholarship. When I was twelve, I fell in love with flying, and now I can't imagine life without it. Once last year when I went to a 10-day camp not only was I homesick, but even more so I missed flying. Thank you for helping me obtain my dream!


Joelle Sherbeck


Progress/Achievement Date Further info
 Solo  2017

 Soaring Club of Houston

 FAA Knowledge Test  3/17/2018  85%

Walter Young III

Another New Pilot Takes to the Skies at Jersey Ridge Soaring

It is Sunday, July 28, 2019 and it is a beautiful day on the ridges of Blairstown, New Jersey.  There is excitement in the air at the Blairstown Airport because today, 16-year-old student pilot and Plainfield New Jersey resident, Walter W. Young III is just arriving for his FAA Private Pilot check ride. It was almost inevitable that this day would come as Walter has been a dedicated student pilot who has been flying since the age of 12 and displays a maturity and love for flying that is above average and beyond his years.

[Walter Young III and Kevin Martin, one of his CFI-Gs]

Photo #15921 | Walter Young III andWalter has flown on an almost weekly basis for the past two years and today his efforts will culminate in the achievement of his private pilot license. As Walter enters the quaint gliderport (nicknamed “The Shack”) where numerous pilots have come before to learn to soar, he is greeted by the warm smiles and encouragement of the wonderful staff and instructors at Jersey Ridge Soaring who have become like a family to him over the years. Walter retrieves the needed documents and materials from his flight bag; gives one final thank you to his instructors Kevin, Mike and Paul and sets off with the FAA examiner, Randy Rickert, to take his check ride. After what seemed like a grueling two hour oral examination, Walter is invited to continue and complete his practical flight test. As Walter lands the glider for the second time a handshake between him and the FAA Examiner resulted in an eruption of cheers and high-fives from all his instructors with shouts of “He did, It!” “He did, it!” And, yes, he did! Upon returning to The Shack Walter was greeted and cheered on not only by dad and instructors, but also by his awesome peers; the other pilots who train at Jersey Ridge Soaring as well.Walter is in the Airforce JROTC program at Plainfield High School in Plainfield NJ, where he currently holds the rank of cadet major and was named cadet of the year for 2019. He has also been recognized by the New Jersey State legislature and the General Assembly through a joint resolution and citation for his flying and civic contributions to his community.

This day shaped up to be a day that Walter (Jersey Ridge Soaring’s newest pilot) would never forget. It became even more special as Walter decided that his first passenger would be his grandfather (Walter W. Young Sr.), who holds a special place in his heart. And, in all the excitement Walter and his family took time out to acknowledge the special people who were instrumental in launching his aviation journey. So, Walter and the Young family would like to give a warm and heart-felt thank you to the Soaring Society of America for their kind and generous scholarship that helped him fund his training; the support of his flight clubs; Aero Club Albatross (ACA) and Black Pilots of America (BPA); his AFJROTC instructors CMSgt. Wilson and MSgt. Eubanks; his peer pilots at Jersey Ridge Soaring who are just awesome friends to fly with; and finally, the tireless, understanding and very professional commitment of his instructors, tow plane  pilots, and ground crew staff at Jersey Ridge Soaring who gave him a top-rate flight education experience. And lastly, Ms. Brenda (operations manager) at Jersey Ridge Soaring who made it look so easy as she brought it all together. Thank you.

Walter Young, Jr. 

Progress/Achievement Date Further info
 Solo SGS2-33  9/4/2017  Jersey Ridge Soaring
 FAA Knowlege Test Passed  7/16/2018  93%
 P/GL Check Ride Passed  7/28/2019  Jersey Ridge Soaring

Posted: 5/2/2020