Gay Aviation Scholarships

Ever wanted to be part of that mile high club?Here is just a short feel good piece for Thanksgiving. As a news blogger, I try to celebrate the gay community for its charitable endeavors and professional achievements, recognizing how much we achieve with our clothes on.

In founding the Express, a gay newspaper in South Florida a decade ago, I made a point of doing features on the wealth of professional and community alliances the gay community had fostered, from bowling leagues to choruses. This weekend, for example in South Florida, they celebrate their 15th Annual Hurricane Showdown Softball Tournament, with hundreds of gay and lesbian softball players coming to our sunny state to compete for a grand prize in four different division.

It is amazing how large, diverse, and strong our groups have become. And we should give thanks for that today. We should give more thanks that they are not all political, too, but instead capture the breadth and diversity of our community. I give thanks today that the Washington Blade has reemerged as a newsweekly under the name of the DC Agenda, and pray for their success in difficult economic times. So too are former staffers of the Southern Voice promising Atlanta a new GLBT paper. And I continue my promise to South Florida that the South Florida Gay News is on its way to an early 2010 debut.

So here is a brief note that the National Gay Pilots Association Education Fund will award $15,000 in scholarships in 2010 to aviators pursuing careers as professional pilots. Applications must be received by March 1, 2010. Awards will range from $3,000 to $4,000.

NGPA has granted more than $100,000 in scholarships since 1998. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited flight school or in a university course of study with a flight program. Payments are made directly to the school and must be applied toward an advanced rating or tuition. Academic ability, financial need and active participation in matters of social justice toward the betterment of the LGBT community will be considered. The application is on the NGPA Web site at ngpa.org.