Zoe Bundy, a Fargo Davies High School Senior, has received a unique full-scholarship opportunity for flight training, thanks to EAA Chapter 317 of Fargo, and the Ray Aviation Scholarship program administered by the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. There will be a formal recognition of Zoe’s award at the West Fargo Airport during the city’s West Fest celebration, Saturday, September 17th.
The Ray Aviation Scholarship program provides up to $10,000 scholarships to young people who are seeking to learn to fly. The Ray Foundation has provided $1.55 million to fund the scholarship program, which seeks to improve the flight training success rate from the current industry standards of 20 percent to 80 percent for program participants. Local EAA chapters are responsible for identifying youth for the Ray Aviation Scholarship program and mentoring them through flight training. The Ray Foundation is furthering the legacy of James C. Ray, an EAA lifetime member who was dedicated to aviation and youth education.
Since its introduction in 2019, the EAA Ray Aviation Scholarship program has allowed over 180 youth to complete their flight training and receive their pilot licenses. The program has consistently met and exceeded its expected 80% success rate each year.
Zoe will train at Price Aviation, based at the West Fargo Airport. The scholarship supports a flight student through written and practical segments of flight training that are part of successful FAA pilot certification.
EAA chapters play a critical role in the success of the Ray Aviation Scholarship program. Chapters interested in participating are prequalified by EAA through an application process. If selected, they mentor and support the scholarship recipient throughout their flight training journey. Once selected as a Ray Aviation Scholarship participant, candidates also commit to volunteer service with the local EAA chapter.
EAA Chapter 317 is one of 900 local chapters of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the world’s largest organization for recreational flying. It meets at the Fargo Air Museum at 7:30 pm on the second Tuesday of each month. More information on EAA Chapter 317 is available at chapters.eaa.org/eaa317.
In addition to the Ray Scholarship EEA Chapter 317 has been recognized this year for its commitment to the EAA Young Eagles program (free flights provided by members to youth ages eight through seventeen). The chapter has flown youth during each of the thirty years of the program’s existence. Giving the opportunity to fly to over 6,000 young people.