The Sooner Flight Academy grant was the largest of the 50 grants totaling more than $365,000 that the commission awarded. For a program to qualify for an OAC aviation education grant, it must demonstrate that its curriculum and goals are geared toward aviation and aerospace.
The new grant will provide partial scholarship opportunities for students in grades K-12 to attend a Sooner Flight Academy summer camp in 2022, allowing youth who may not have the opportunity otherwise to pursue their interest in aviation and explore careers in the aviation and aerospace industry.
“Many Sooner Flight Academy alumni go on to careers in the aviation and aerospace industry, STEM career fields and the military,” SFA Program Manager Dawn Machalinski said. “Sooner Flight Academy is very grateful for the long-term support of the OAC and looks forward to the partnership of introducing the world of aviation to the children and youth of Oklahoma.”
This past summer, Sooner Flight Academy was forced to halt operation of its intern program due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. The OAC grant will allow SFA to resume the intern program in 2022, giving older campers the opportunity to work as staff and help younger campers develop the same love of aviation and science that they learned as campers.
“We look forward to inviting our campers ages 16 to 18 who have attended Eagles 1 to apply to become interns for the on-site summer camp program,” Machalinski said. “The intern program is an integral part of the mission for SFA, as it further exposes the youth of Oklahoma to the world of aviation. It is truly a workforce development program that gives many their first job. The intern experience is a good resume building opportunity. Many job skills are introduced, and a good work ethic is encouraged.”
Want to learn more about Sooner Flight Academy? Visit their website for more information about their upcoming programs and the aviation-related educational opportunities they offer. For more information about educational opportunities available for adults, visit pacs.ou.edu.