Pathways Flight Academy

Jack Donahue, a junior at Tunstall High School (sixth from left) joined a group for the Pathways Flight Academy held last month.

Local resident Jack Donahue took to the skies last month in the Virginia Space Grant Consortiums Pathways Flight Academies Program.

While participating in this two-week session at Averett University, Donahue undertook both ground school and 10 hours of flight training. The academy immerses students in learning to fly while discovering the range of aviation career opportunities available.

“The academy helped a lot with my career,” Donahue said. “It makes me want to pursue my dream even more.”

Donahue, a junior at Tunstall High School, only was one of 24 students selected from across the commonwealth to attend the academy. Students were chosen based on their academic record and their proven interest in science, technology, engineering and math — commonly known as STEM — along with their passion for flight and career aspirations to becoming a pilot.

Virginia Space Grant Consortiums partnered with two Virginia flight training schools for this program. Both Averett and Liberty universities have facilities for aviation education and flight training and operate FAA-Approved flight schools.

Funded by the commonwealth of Virginia, Pathways Flight Academies is a program in which students receive flight and ground school training at no cost. The application process, while competitive, is open to students statewide. Qualified applicants must be a U.S. citizen, Virginia resident and 16 years of age by the start of the academy.

Applications for the summer 2020 Pathways Flight Academies will open in November.

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