Bothell High School senior Lauren Hoyt is the 2023 recipient of Cascade Warbirds' $2,500 Continuing Aviation. Hoyt, center, holds her award. She is flanked by grandmother Carol Granley, left, and mother Debbie Hoyt, a commercial airline pilot, right, and grandfather pilot Bud Granley, far right. (Cascade Warbirds: January 13, 2024, Museum of Flight, Seattle)

Bothell High School senior awarded $2,500 to keep on flying

Cascade Warbirds scholarship helps students 16-21 continue flight training and earn a private pilot’s certificate.

BOTHELL — Bothell High School senior Lauren Hoyt is flying high.

Hoyt is the 2023 recipient of a $2,500 Continuing Aviation Grant from the Cascade Warbirds.

A nonprofit group of more than 250 aviation enthusiasts, the Cascade Warbirds aim to honor veterans, encourage aviation education and promote the preservation and display of historic military aircraft. Its motto, “Keep ‘em flying,” refers to ex-military aircraft, known as “warbirds.”

Last year, Hoyt received a Private Pilot Ground School scholarship from the group. This year’s scholarship grant, available to students age 16 through 21, provides her with an additional $2,500 to continue her training.

Cascade Warbirds offers the Continuing Aviation Education Grant to one recipient who intends to earn their private pilot certificate within the following year.

Hoyt completed her scholarship requirements, submitted “an amazing essay” and was awarded the additional $2,500 grant, said Kerry Edwards, a director with Cascade Warbirds.

Her grandfather is a pilot and both of her parents are commercial airline pilots. Growing up, she attended Paine Field Aviation Days, hangar parties and other local airfield events.

“Aviation has always been part of my life,” Hoyt wrote in her essay. “Some of my most vivid young memories consist of days at the airport driving around on my grandpa’s tug, or getting to sit in his planes and playing with the headsets, imagining the possibility of my dream job.”

The funds are released to the winner upon completion of training milestones: $1,000 after completing the first solo flight; $1,000 after completing the long solo cross-country; and $500 after earning the private pilot certificate, Edwards said.

Successful completion of the Private Pilot Ground School qualifies a student to take the Federal Aviation Administration’s Private Pilot Written Exam.

Hoyt’s interests extend beyond flying.

Hoyt, who also attends Cascadia College in Bothell through the Running Start program, is a member of the Bothell High School cross-country running team.

For the past two years, she’s been listed among the state’s top ten cross country runners. And she’s a member of the Washington State Cross Country Coaches Association All State Team.

She also rides horses competitively. A four-time national qualifier in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, Hoyt is a member of the national championship team.

For more than a decade, Cascade Warbirds has teamed up with flight schools in the Puget Sound area to provide scholarship winners with tuition, books and supplies, and two introductory instructional flights.

The Puget Sound-based chapter is part of the Warbirds of America. Members not only hail from the Puget Sound area but the Western United States and British Columbia.

From about May through September, members display and operate their aircraft. The rest of the year, they meet at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

The Cascade Warbirds is again offering scholarships this year. Students between the ages of 16 and 21 at the time of award, can apply for the 2024 Pilot Ground School scholarship or the Continuing Aviation Education Grant. Successful completion of Private Pilot Ground School qualifies a student to take the Federal Aviation Administration’s Private Pilot Written Exam.

For program information and an application go to: cascadewarbirds.org/youth/

This year’s deadline is Feb. 29.

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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