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Boeing Launches $1M Scholarship Program To Train Pilots From Minority Communities

Boeing Launches $1M Scholarship Program To Train Pilots From Minority Communities

They’re working to make carriers in aviation accessible!

Boeing has announced a new scholarship program aimed at training pilots from underrepresented communities, Black Enterprise reports. The aerospace giant is set to launch a $950,000 scholarship towards the new initiative, hoping to funnel much needed resources to organizations already doing work on the ground. The scholarship will be split up in two parts, with nearly $450,000 going towards Fly Compton, a Los Angeles based non-profit supporting minority youth interested in aviation careers. 

“[The] investment will increase flight training classes offered to students in L.A.’s Compton community and introduce career topics related to designing, building and maintaining airplanes and drones,” the company said via statement. 

The other $500,000 will be broken down between the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Sisters of the Skies, Women in Aviation International, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Latino Pilots Association. In total, Boeing will award 25 scholarships to various candidates through the help of each organization. 

“At Fly Compton, we know that lack of exposure, access to resources, and the high cost of flight training prevents underrepresented populations from exploring careers in aviation. We focus on eliminating these barriers to entry, and this funding package from Boeing helps us continue this important work,” said Demetrius Harris, president and executive director for Fly Compton. 

Black pilots continue to be severely underrepresented in aviation, much of that due to the high cost of pilot training. Samantha Whitfield, executive director for the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, said this million dollar boost from Boeing is exactly what’s needed to start leveling the playing field. 

“Funding flight training is often one of the greatest barriers for students of color pursuing a pilot career. Scholarship partners like Boeing provide the much-needed support to fuel the careers of aspiring aviators,” said Whitfield. 

To date, Boeing has already committed more than $8.5 million to pilot training programs in underrepresented communities across the nation, Essence reports. The demand for new pilots is high, with the company projecting needing more than 600,000 new aviators to “fly and maintain the global commercial fleet over the next 20 years.” 

To learn more about Boeing’s scholarship program, click here.

Cover photo: Boeing launches $1M scholarship program to train pilots from minority communities/Photo Courtesy of Stock photos/Getty Images