HEWITT, Texas (FOX 44) – While some high school students will spend this summer doing odd jobs or hanging out with friends, a Midway High School student is completing an intensive Navy program.
Cecilia Winters is taking part in an eight-week U.S. Navy Summer Flight Academy aviation program at Delaware State University. She will earn her FAA Private Pilot’s license when she finishes the training. The program takes place from June 12 through August 3.
Winters is one of 28 high-ability eleventh and twelfth graders throughout the United States selected for the program, which was established in 2021 by the Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) in order to increase diversity in Naval aviation. The Navy partners with select universities throughout the country to provide the flight training to the participating students.
Winters participates in MCJROTC and plays competitive soccer. During the eight-week Summer Flight Academy, she will receive a minimum of 32 hours of classroom aviation academics and more than 40 hours of flight training in either a Vulcanair V.10 single-engine aircraft or Piper Warrior (PA-28). As part of the certification process, Winters will be required to complete 17 hours of solo flights.
The cost of the program is approximately $28,000 per student, but is offered at no cost to the student and with no obligations. Each student will earn a private pilot certification/license and five college credits.
The Department of the Navy sponsors the Summer Flight Academy program for students participating in Navy and Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. The program is a new STEM initiative which was selected for funding by the Naval STEM Coordination Office – located at the Office of Naval Research – which oversees investments in STEM education, outreach, and workforce initiatives.