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Youth Flight Canada Scholarship Candidate

Posted: Mon May 31, 2021 10:22 am
by Charles Petersen
Because the Air Cadet program at CRGS and other locations is shut down for a second consecutive season, the pipeline of graduates that supplied our scholarship program at York has dried up.

We do have one young man, new to YFC and York, Robbie Hann, who is a graduate from a couple of years back, and is on dual instruction in the K-21, with 4 or 5 flights on his logbook.

And we got a second application from the Freedom's Wings Canada profile, from Corner Brook Nfld. It is just the most heartwarming application I have ever read, so I share it here:
Dear Scholarship Committee:
I respectfully submit my application to be considered for a glider scholarship to help offset some of the costs associated with my journey of learning to soar. A journey I ultimately want to assist others with, particularly those with disabilities.
I am currently a Grade 11 student, and my introduction to aviation happened in 2016 while shopping for shoes at the mall. I was intrigued by a Schweizer SGS 2-33 on display and invited by a cadet officer to sit in this heavier-than-air machine. As the different controls were explained I was captivated, and the very next week I experienced my very first familiarization flight. My passion for aviation had been ignited.
I never did get those shoes, but instead a pair of boots that I would shine to a mirror-like finish over many years with the cadet program. I participated in summer advanced aviation camps to build on my knowledge and share it with my squadron. I was awarded the Lord Strathcona Medal of Excellence, the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence, and other top awards for persistence, dedication, and leadership. I also won a full glider scholarship and obtained the highest ground school score in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2019 through the Air Cadets.
In school, my love for aviation propelled me towards an interest in STEM, where I currently hold a 99% GPA and tutor up to 20 students at a time Level III chemistry, as well as physics and advanced math. I also tutor students at risk of failing or dropping credits in a separate program. For the fall of 2021 I have been elected co-president of the student council where I will continue to assist and advocate for over 700 students. I particularly enjoy spending time working on projects with students with cognitive and physical disabilities to ensure that they feel included within the school community.
Inclusion is something that is very important to me. What the words on this paper cannot convey is often the broad smiles of all those I help when they learn that all I have achieved was while living with and overcoming my own disability. I know firsthand what adversity can be like, but I do not allow it to define me.
I was not able to take up the offer of my Air Cadet scholarship as currently I have only been granted a Category 4 MC (Air cadets requires Category 3 MC) until I can be assessed for a Category 3 MC by means of a practical flight test – hearing. I understand this can only be arranged once I am ready for solo flight and have had enough training to operate radios in a circuit without guidance from an instructor.
I am not ready to give up on my dream of ultimately becoming a commercial pilot. The experience and exhilaration I have experienced through many glider familiarization have stayed with me.
Ultimately, I want to advance the sport of soaring and advance persons with disabilities to help ignite their passion for aviation as someone once did for me on my first flight familiarization. I believe the training in learning to soar would allow me to attain the highest level of airmanship, practical and technical knowledge to effectively teach others. My enthusiasm for aviation would do the rest. I have spoken with pilots like Captain Mary Cameron-Kelly, the first female Aurora pilot who shared her experiences of flying with me, and believe I have what it takes to be successful.
After High School, I plan on taking an engineering degree, possibly within aero engineering, and would like to work with other like-minded individuals to help mould safe aviators and make soaring accessible to as many people as possible, especially those with a disability. I believe so far, I have shown many of the people I have had the pleasure of interacting with that anything is possible with the right mindset, dedication, and support team. I would like to continue this with aviation and believe the Scholarship would greatly help me realize my goal.
I would like to thank the Scholarship Committee for your consideration and believe that many of my experiences both with the cadets with practical hands-on experience of safely being part of a glider ground crew, preparing gliders and conducting pre-flight checks, running with gliders, logging flight times, and gaining additional flight experience, as well as extracurricular have prepared me to be successful to undertake flight training, and I hope you do too.
Yours in Soaring,
Helena Goodey-Parfitt

Re: Youth Flight Canada Scholarship Candidate

Posted: Mon May 31, 2021 11:17 pm
by James Lemke
Awesome letter Charles. Thanks for sharing.