Scholarship chair Pete Jackson (left) and CO John “Smokey” Johnson (rear) introduce four 2022 scholars to the membership at our October meeting. Corey Zendejas is at left.

This summer, Cascade Warbirds has awarded its 2022 Continuing Aviation Education Grant to Corey Zendejas of Auburn, in the amount of $2,500. A high school junior attending Green River College via Running Start, Corey was one of the winners of a private pilot ground school scholarship from Cascade Warbirds earlier this year.


For more than a decade, Cascade Warbirds has teamed with several flight schools in the Puget Sound area to provide scholarship recipients with tuition, books and supplies, and two introductory instructional flights. Successful completion of this private pilot ground school will qualify a student to take the FAA private pilot written exam. See the full details of our memorial scholarship program.

Recognizing the cost of the flight training required for a pilot’s license, the scholarship program offers an additional $2,500 Continuing Aviation Education Grant to one scholarship recipient who intends to earn their FAA private pilot certificate within the following year. Applicants must complete the ground school course, both introductory flights, and submit an essay by September 30 of the scholarship year. Funds are released to the winner of the best essay in stages as the recipient completes training milestones: $1,000 after completing their first solo flight, $1,000 after completing their long solo cross-country, and $500 after earning the private pilot certificate.

Corey completed his scholarship requirements, submitted an essay by the required date, and was awarded this additional grant. He is the cadet commander of his Civil Air Patrol unit and volunteers as a youth soccer coach. Corey expects to earn an associate degree in aviation technology with an emphasis in aviation management at Green River, simultaneously earning his high school diploma, then transfer to a four-year university where he plans to pursue a major in aviation and join either Air Force or Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

Corey is following in the footsteps of his older brother, Michael Zendejas, who was the recipient of a Cascade Warbirds Scholarship in 2018. Michael graduated from high school and simultaneously received his AA degree from Green River College. Michael will graduate this December with a bachelor of science from Purdue University in professional flight and will be commissioned in the Army.

Both of their parents were Air Force officers. Their father is a retired Air Force pilot, flew for Alaska Airlines, and was recently named VP of Flight Operations at Horizon Air.