The local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA Chapter 609) awarded $10,000 in Ray Aviation Scholarships to three high school-aged Lewis County residents to help them earn their pilot’s licenses.
Treasurer of the local EAA chapter Kevin Roy heard about the scholarship opportunity and applied through the national EAA chapter. The Chehalis chapter was awarded $10,000 to distribute locally. The local EAA chapter also received some donations from community members to support the scholarship program. The scholarship recipients must be high school-aged and have the desire to get their pilot’s license.
“It’s neat to see these young kids interested in aviation and when I heard about the scholarship, I knew it was going to really help these kids out,” Roy said.
Henry Jordan from Chehalis was awarded $1,500, Tim Bowes from Mossyrock was awarded $6,000 and Henry Reid from Chehalis was awarded $3,000 to put toward flight lessons or other expenses as they work toward getting their pilot’s license.
“These recipients already have the desire, and our airport provides the opportunity. All that is left is helping provide the means, Chehalis-Centralia Airport Operations Coordinator and Local EAA Chapter President Brandon Rakes said. “It is an honor to be part of a group that has made it a priority to repay the blessings we have been given in life by helping the next generation of pilots achieve their goals. These recipients have all earned that honor, and I know they will go on to do great things.”
One of the scholarship recipients, Bowes, started working toward his pilot’s license early last year. He would like to pursue aviation as a career and said he will eventually work toward instrumental and commercial ratings after earning his private pilot’s license.
“This scholarship means a ton to me because it will allow me to focus on my training rather than how I will pay for it,” Bowes said. “I feel very thankful, honored and blessed to have been selected by my EAA Chapter to receive the scholarship. It’s been a dream of mine, since my first plane ride, to get my pilot’s license and this scholarship just made it a reality.”
Bowes took his first solo flight on his 16th birthday in September. He encourages Lewis County residents who are interested in flying to get involved with the EAA chapter in Chehalis.
“Being a part of an EAA chapter is a great way to get involved in aviation and is definitely the best way to begin your journey to becoming a pilot,” Bowes said.
More information about the Chehalis 609 EAA chapter can be found on their website at chapters.eaa.org/eaa609.