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RHS sophomore earning pilot’s license as part of $20,000 Flight Academy scholarship program

Rosewood High sophomore and JROTC cadet, Adel Wells, has wrapped up her school year early to take part in a Flight Academy at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she is now completing nine weeks of intense training which will culminate in her achieving a private pilot’s license.  The rising junior was one of 150 recipients nationwide to recently receive the Air Force Chief of Staff Flight Academy Private Pilot Scholarship. The scholarship is valued at $20,000.

“This is an outstanding opportunity that Cadet Wells has received,” states Dr. Michael Dunsmore, superintendent. “She is the first cadet from Wayne County Public Schools to take part in this Flight Academy program. As a result of her selection, she is now among the second class of scholarship recipients, making her a role model for other JROTC cadets across our district, North Carolina, and the nation.”

Kimberly Wells says her daughter left for the Flight Academy on June 2 and will complete the program on July 28. Cadet Wells applied for the Air Force Chief of Staff Flight Academy Private Pilot Scholarship last fall while a member of the Southern Wayne High Air Force JROTC program.

“My husband and I are both veterans,” says Mrs. Wells. “Adel has known for some time that she wanted to join the military. After she learned about the scholarship, she jumped all over it because she felt she could do it. She will actually have her pilot’s license before she gets her driver’s license.” 

Mrs. Wells says the family had to relocate to the Rosewood Community after the home they were living in was damaged by Hurricane Florence. Even though her daughter is now a member of an Army JROTC program, Mrs. Wells says that the United States Air Force made an exception for her daughter to attend. She says Adel has embraced the challenge.

“Adel is actually afraid of heights,” adds Mrs. Wells. “She has already flown twice. She’s going to be flying five days a week soon.”

The Air Force scholarship program was instituted nation-wide last school year as a way to help address current and future pilot shortages in both military and civil aviation.  The scholarships provide the selected cadets with all ground school education, flying hours, room and board at one of 11 participating Universities across the United States that have accredited flight schools.  

In order to be eligible, Cadet Wells had to pass a computer-aided test, a Flight Physical, and apply for and receive an FAA student pilot certificate.

“Adel is a positive person who, when she puts her mind to it, can do great things,” states Col George W. Schantz, Jr., USAF (Ret), SWH AFJROTC instructor. “Her academic grades and her score on the flight test led to her selection. This is a chance of a lifetime.”

Additional criteria require applicants to:
  • Be a sophomore, junior or senior Air Force JROTC Cadet. 
  • Be at least 16 years old by 1 June in the year in they attend the Flight Academy
  • Possess a current AFJROTC Presidential physical fitness assessment score.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale) and obtain a standardized test score on the Aviation Qualification Test (AQT). 
  • Be endorsed by their Senior Aerospace Science Instructor (SASI) and Principal or High School Counselor.
  • Not currently hold a private pilot's license.

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