While some high school students will spend this summer doing odd jobs or hanging out with friends, Xitlali Vazquez, a student at Greenway High School in Phoenix, will complete an intensive, eight-week U.S. Navy Summer Flight Academy aviation training program at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC, achieving her FAA Private Pilot’s license upon completion of the training.
The program takes place through July 28.
Vazquez is one of just 20 high-performing eleventh- and twelfth-graders from throughout the United States selected for the elite program, which was established in 2021 by Vice Admiral, Kenneth Whitesell, Commander, Naval Air Forces to increase diversity in Naval aviation. The Navy partners with select universities throughout the country to provide the flight training to the participating students. The cost of the program is approximately $24,000 per student, but is offered at zero cost to the student and with no obligations. Upon completion of the program, each student earns a private pilot certification/license and five college credits.
The Department of the Navy sponsors the Summer Flight Academy program for students participating in Navy and Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. The program is a new STEM initiative that was selected for funding by the Naval STEM Coordination Office – located at the Office of Naval Research – which oversees investments in STEM education, outreach and workforce initiatives.
“The goal of the scholarship program is to expose exceptional minority students to a career path that currently lacks diversity,” says Commander Chris “Frozone” Williams, a Navy fighter pilot, instructor and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Commander, Naval Air Forces. “Xitlali Vazquez has what it takes to be a leader in the field of aviation, and the Navy is honored to play a part in her personal and professional journey.”
Vazquez participates in NJROTC, Youth Alive, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She also competes in track and field and basketball. During the eight-week Summer Flight Academy, she will receive a minimum of 32 hours of classroom aviation academics and 49 hours of flight training in a Vulcanair V.10 single-engine aircraft or Piper Warrior (PA-28). As part of the certification process, Vazquez will be required to complete 17 hours of solo flights.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here