- Award grants of up to $10,000 to 10 nonprofit groups that perform charitable work through GA;
- Award flight training scholarships to individuals who want to learn to fly or pursue aviation careers;
- Provide free memberships to armed forces personnel who want to be part of the GA community; and
- Provide memberships through our AOPA AV8RS program that gives teens an opportunity to learn about and explore the world of aviation.
The one that intrigued me was the the first one. I know of so many general aviation nonprofits out there doing work, so below is my list of organizations, in no particular order, I think should apply for a grant.
- Wings of Grace Ministries – I recently had the pleasure of writing about this Melbourne, Fla.-based nonprofit, which offers free flight training to youths age 13 to 18. $10,000 would allow founder Dwight Bell to bring more youths — who are all members of AOPA’s AV8RS program – into the fold.
- Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum — In May 2012, CNN profiled this Compton, Calif.-based program that provides flight training for inner city youth out of Compton Airport. As a minority myself, I believe strongly in the power of aviation to put — and keep — these youths on the right path. And I applaud any program that brings more diversity to the industry.
- Girls With Wings — I first learned about pilot Lynda Meeks’ efforts to inspire young girls to fly when she appeared on the Airplane Geeks podcast on Nov. 8, 2011. She offers scholarships, female role models, and events across the country designed for women and girls. A foundation grant would help Meeks give away more scholarshps.
- Candler Field Museum — Last month, I interviewed Ron Alexander, a retired Air Force and Delta Air Lines pilot, after he was inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame. One of his claims to fame is this museum, created to document the history of the original Atlanta airport, originally named Candler Field. Part of the effort includes a partnership with the Candler Field Flying Club, which has youths work in the museum in return for scholarships to learn to fly.
- Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation — this Los Angeles-based organization provides scholarships to deserving young men and women based on the criteria of responsible citizenship are character and achievement, rather than ethnic origin.
- Professional Women Controllers — I met officers of this organization that promotes careers in air traffic control at this year’s Women In Aviation conference and did a profile on their efforts. I’m sure a foundation grant would help fund their education and career development programs.
- Air Race Classic — among the things this organization is dedicated to are encouraging and educating current
and future women pilots and increase
public awareness, two causes that fit well with the foundation’ mission. Read my story on this organization here.
- Pilots N Paws — I’m a dog lover, so I know first hand how much people love their pets. This nonprofit serves as a facilitator for people and organizations who rescue, shelter or foster animals, and volunteer pilots and aircraft owners willing to assist with the transportation of animals.
- Recreational Aviation Foundation — this organization, a friend to AOPA, protects recreational air strips across the country, making them available for general aviation pilots to use. Read here about the organization’s latest advocacy efforts.
- Youth Aviation Adventure – I’m in favor of anything that helps show kids and teens all the joys of being involved with aviation, which is why I like this program. In a single day youths go to participating airports to learn all about aviation, with the goal of inspiring them.