Chapter 106

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EAA106 2014 Scholarship Winner - SAMUEL ASHTON

EAA106 2014 Youth Scholarship WINNER – Samuel Ashton

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Between his own flight training, Sam Ashton volunteers, such as the Fitchburg tour stop of EAA’s 1929 Ford Tri-Motor.

The GREATER BOSTON EAA CHAPTER 106, with 200 members throughout New England, is proud to announce that SAMUEL ASHTON of LEOMINSTER, MA is one of three youth who have won an aviation scholarship.  This EAA106 scholarship covers tuition and airfare to attend the 8-day EAA Advanced Air Academy in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this summer. 

The annual EAA Chapter 106 Youth Scholarship was established in 2012 to expand the aviation knowledge of youth in New England who have demonstrated, through actions, not just words, their passion for aviation.  All three of this year’s scholarship winners are working to earn money to pay for their own flight lessons, yet have maintained A’s and honors in their academics. 

Samuel used to bike four miles to the airport several times a week to watch aircraft and speak with pilots. He took the first job he could get, then took his first paycheck to the flight school to start an account.  In addition to flight training, Samuel is also an active member in the Fitchburg Pilots Association/ EAA Chapter 1454 where he volunteers to help with Young Eagles and other events.

Sam expects to qualify to fly solo by late spring and earn his private pilot license the end of the year.  He is looking forward to the aviation camp as a way to gain insight into aspects of aviation in which he does not yet have experience, such as construction and maintenance of aircraft.

ESSAYS by 2014 EAA106 Youth Scholarship winner Samuel Ashton

Phase 1, Essay 1 -- How and when did you become interested in aviation?
My interest in aviation started when I was twelve. I flew to visit family in North Carolina. The flight back was incredibly turbulent, and is still one of the bumpiest flight I have had. I enjoyed this flight so much that I was permanently hooked. I had to learn to fly! After the flight I talked with the pilot who patiently answered my questions and encouraged my new interest.

Phase 1, Essay 2 -- What actions have you taken to pursue your passion in aviation?
I have actively pursued my interest in aviation in many ways. At fourteen I started biking four miles to the airport several times a week to watch the planes and talk to any pilot willing. My grandfather (who trained as a pilot in WWII) saw my interest and gave me a gift certificate for an introductory flight lesson. Just before my 16th birthday I had my first lesson… it was incredible! I had to continue, but I had a small problem, money. I took the first job I could get. The day I got my first paycheck I took it and walked to the flight school and put the money onto my account. I have continued to put nearly all of the money I earn into flying. In addition to saving and paying for flying lessons, I am an active member in the Fitchburg Pilots Association/ EAA 1454. Doing this has allowed me to meet many of the area pilots and has allowed me to be a part of some pretty amazing things. I have gone on some flyouts, and have volunteered at many Young Eagles events and on the EAA’s Ford Tri-motor visit to Fitchburg on its spring tour.

Phase 1, Essay 3 -- WHY do you want to attend the EAA Advanced Air Academy? WHY should we select YOU? 
I am hoping to attend EAA’s Air camp simply because I love aviation and all of its many aspects and feel that I will gain much from attending. There are areas of aviation (such as construction and maintenance of aircraft) that I have interest in, but in which I have little experience, although, any and all experiences will be greatly appreciated. I feel that I should be considered for this scholarship because I have a true passion for and plan on pursuing a career in aviation. I am a high school senior and am applying to colleges. Because college is so near, I will not be able to attend Air camp if I do not earn this scholarship. I have spent much of my free time dedicated to aviation and have worked hard to pay for flight lessons. I am an enthusiastic volunteer on projects or events involving aviation and in fact, would like if possible to volunteer at Airventure once camp has ended. Thank you for your consideration!

Because Sam is taking flight lessons, we considered how he’s paying for those flight lessons:
From essays:  "have worked hard to pay for flight lessons" -- "The day I got my first paycheck I took it and walked to the flight school and put the money onto my account. I have continued to put nearly all of the money I earn into flying."

Phase 2, Essay 1 -- What aviation goals (career or personal) do you have? Be realistic. . .
I have many goals for my aviation career. In the short term, I hope to solo by late spring. By the end of the year, I hope to earn my private license. In the long term, I hope to fly commercially; I don’t plan on stopping until I complete this goal. Ideally, I will fly internationally but I will be happy as long as I am flying. In the end, success for many people is measured in dollars, but for me it will be measured in hours I have logged in the cockpit.

Phase 2, Essay 2 -- Tell us about your top academic achievements & extracurricular activities.
Academic Achievement: As a freshman I took regular classes. It was easy to pass, but I realized that to be successful I had to be challenged. Since then, I have worked hard taking honors/AP courses. Now classes are more difficult, but I am happier with a hard earned B than an easy A.
Extracurricular Activities: Membership in EAA 1454; Fishing, Science, and French Clubs; DEK Hockey; Wrestling; Hiking; Volunteering on Campaigns; Working at McDonald’s.

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