Spring Hill College student receives scholarship from the Air Force to get flight hours in Mobile.
The U.S. Air Force is offering Air Force ROTC cadets the opportunity to earn flight hours at no cost to them. Spring Hill College student and Air Force ROTC cadet Keenan Ard received the You Can Fly Scholarship from the Air Force last semester. The scholarship was awarded to three cadets in the AFROTC program at The University of South Alabama which is also where Spring Hill students participate in ROTC. Ard has been flying since November of last year after receiving 3,500 dollars to get as much time in the air as he can.
“Getting this opportunity has been amazing. Without the scholarship I would’ve never been able to begin flying in college like this. It has been a life changing experience,” Ard said.
This program has been implemented because there is a shortage of pilots in the Air Force. The AFROTC You Can Fly Scholarship program, provides the civilian ground and flight training needed to earn a private pilot’s license. There is no required commitment in the Air Force for receiving this scholarship.
“Before doing it I really didn’t know what I wanted to do in the Air Force at all. Before flying a Cessna, I had only flown commercial a couple times. So, I was really nervous and didn’t have any idea what to expect. After my first flight with my instructor, I knew this is what I wanted to do as a career. It was just such an exhilarating experience and I recommend that if anyone ever gets the chance to take a flight lesson go for it at least once,” Ard said.
Ard has been working with the Flight Training of Mobile LLC at the Mobile Regional Airport. The school is now closing before Ard has been able to use all his scholarship money. Through the program cadets have until June to use all the scholarship money awarded. Ard has the option to find a new flight school outside of Mobile within the next few months to finish his training. Either way Ard hopes to fly for the Air Force in the future.
“Sadly, the school I attended just recently closed but I definitely will continue to fly in the future. Hopefully my flying is not done via flying in the Air Force as a career,” Ard said.
For more information about AFROTC go to southalabama.edu/afrotc. And for more information about the You Can Fly Scholarship program email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to afrotc.com. More information about different careers in the Air Force can be found at airforce.com