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Ohio University students win Air Force ROTC scholarships

Published: February 21, 2022 Author: Staff reports

The U.S. Air Force ROTC awarded six Ohio University students scholarships through its You Can Fly program, which provides opportunities for cadets interested in obtaining their pilot’s license to attend ground and flight training.

“This is a great opportunity for cadets to gain valuable aviation experience and skills to help them compete for flying specialties,” said Lt. Col. Mark Enriques, who is the commander of ROTC Detachment 650. “Flying hours are extremely expensive so it’s wonderful to help defray some of the costs of training.”

The You Can Fly program exists to increase diversity within the Air Force. Through the program, Air Force ROTC detachment commanders select cadets to learn and experience aviation through private pilot certificate programs by the Federal Aviation Agency. Recipients receive $3,500, which can be used for classes, academic materials, headset rentals and flight time.

Students selected to take part in the program are: Jasson Aguilera, of Ironton, Ohio, a sophomore studying aviation; Galen Cooper, of Ann Arbor, Mich., a first-year studying aviation; Charlie Eagle, of Liberty Township, Ohio, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering; Jacob Grimes, of Cameron, N.C., a junior studying engineering technology management; Johan Mendez, of Columbus, Ohio, a first-year studying aviation; and Brady Taylor, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., a junior studying aviation management.

“The You Can Fly scholarship is giving me a springboard into my instrument training that will be critical to giving me an edge if I am given the opportunity to attend undergraduate pilot training through the Air Force," Taylor said, noting that the scholarship will help reduce the financial burden associated with flight training.

“This scholarship is a testament to those who have invested their time, money or education in me,” Aguilera said, noting his gratitude for the support of the OHIO Aviation department, Air Force ROTC Detachment 650 and his family.

Aguilera, Cooper, Taylor and Mendez will use their scholarship to support pilot training through the Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University. Grimes and Eagle intend to seek training through at private instructors.

"It's most definitely an honor to receive this scholarship so I can continue working on the goal I had set since I was a kid," Cooper said.

“The [Air Force ROTC] You Can Fly Scholarship means that I can finally begin my dream of becoming a pilot,” Eagle said.

“I am excited to further my journey as I get to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a pilot,” Mendez said. “Not only am I a first-generation citizen, but I am also a first-generation college student and am thrilled to see that my efforts are being recognized by the university and the Air Force.”

ROTC programs are located in OHIO’s University College. For more information about Air Force ROTC Detachment 650, visit the Ohio University’s Air Force ROTC website or email them.