The GREATER BOSTON EAA CHAPTER 106, with 200 members throughout New England, is proud to announce that BENJAMIN LILLIE of FITCHBURG, 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.
Benjamin “mowed lawns, raked leaves, shoveled snow, and did any other odd jobs that became available” and works at a greenhouse to pay for his own lessons. He has maintained all A's in his freshman and sophomore years of high school and continues to do so in his junior year.
Benjamin qualified to fly solo on his sixteenth birthday and expects to complete his private pilot training this spring. He plans to attend Liberty University to obtain a degree in Aeronautics specializing in Corporate/Commercial operations. Benjamin considers this scholarship and the aviation camp to be an “amazing opportunity” to not only meet over 40 other youth “who are just as passionate about aviation” but to also gain knowledge to help him “mentor (other) young pilots”.
ESSAYS by 2014 EAA106 Youth Scholarship winner Benjamin Lillie
Phase 1, Essay 1 -- How and when did you become interested in aviation?
I have had an interest in aviation for as long as I can remember, and I quite possibly might have been born with it. My dad was an influential part of igniting my passion for flying. Before I could even walk, he would take me to the airport to watch planes take off and land. After my first flight in a North American T-6 at age eleven, I was hooked--there was no turning back.
Phase 1, Essay 2 -- What actions have you taken to pursue your passion in aviation?
After my first flight, I had to find a way to fly more. I was introduced to the flight training scene when, by submitting an essay, I won a discovery flight sponsored by the Fitchburg Pilots Association. Although my parents could not afford to pay for my training, I would not be deterred. I mowed lawns, raked leaves, shoveled snow, and did any other odd jobs that became available. I also took any free airplane rides that were offered--most notably, the Young Eagles flights given by the Fitchburg Pilots Association. After four years of flight training, I soloed on my sixteenth birthday. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life! After my solo, I realized that in order to get my license, I would need to fly more. In order to accomplish this, I got a job at a local greenhouse which has allowed me to train more effectively. I am almost ready to begin my cross-country flights and am planning to get my PPL this spring. I plan to attend Liberty University to obtain a degree in Aeronautics specializing in Corporate/Commercial operations. I also enjoy photographing aircraft and post my pictures on flightaware.com.
Phase 1, Essay 3 -- WHY do you want to attend the EAA Advanced Air Academy? WHY should we select YOU?
I think the EAA Advanced Air Academy would be an amazing opportunity for me in many ways. First of all, It would give me an excellent opportunity to meet new friends who are just as passionate about aviation as I am. The wealth of knowledge I would receive there is one of the main reasons for my desire to go. Being able to attend Airventure would be quite exciting since I have not been there before. I would love to be able to experience all that happens there. Why should I be chosen? I should be chosen because I have already proven my determination to succeed through my hard work to pursue flight. I also enjoy learning and know that I will have more than enough opportunity to do so under experienced pilots there. Also, I hope to be able to mentor young pilots like myself when I am an adult. I will put in 100% of my effort in order to receive all that I can from the camp. I also hope I can encourage others there to pursue their dreams in aviation.
Because Ben is taking flight lessons, we considered how he’s paying for those flight lessons:
From essays: “I mowed lawns, raked leaves, shoveled snow, and did any other odd jobs that became available. I got a job at a local greenhouse which has allowed me to train more effectively.”
Phase 2, Essay 1 -- What aviation goals (career or personal) do you have? Be realistic. . .
After high school, I am planning on attending Liberty University to obtain a degree in Aeronautics with a specialization in Commercial/Corporate operations. My ultimate goal and dream job would be to fly for Netjets Aviation. To gain hours and experience for this, I hope to fly for a regional airline for a time. If, for some reason, I am unable to fly for Netjets, I will continue flying in the airlines. After retiring, I would like to pioneer an aviation program at a college that does not have one and be a flight instructor.
Phase 2, Essay 2 -- Tell us about your top academic achievements & extracurricular activities.
To start with, I have maintained all A's in my freshman and sophomore years of high school and so far have done the same in my junior year. Also, I have won second and third place in our homeschool group's spelling bee several times. I enjoy playing guitar and play in my church's band. I have been involved in 4-H showing rabbits. I enjoy gardening, fishing, and volunteering at my church's food pantry as well.