Memorial Youth Scholarship Program

Private Pilot Ground School with Introductory Flights

Memorial plaqueOne of the missions of Cascade Warbirds is to inspire today’s young people to become the aviation pioneers of tomorrow. To give our flight-inspired youth a leg up on taking their first steps toward a career or life-long avocation, we offer the following scholarship opportunity for students in the greater Seattle / central Puget Sound area.

Cascade Warbirds has teamed with several flight schools to provide the scholarship recipient with tuition, books and supplies, and two introductory instructional flights.

This scholarship is available for students between the ages of 16 and 21 at the time of award. It is valued at approximately $1,350 and several awards are made each year.

Ground School

The ground school portion is held either in-person at the flight school or virtually through their website. The subjects covered include the aircraft and its systems; a study of the weather, its patterns and how to interpret such; and the FAA rules and regulations. Successful completion of this ground school will allow the student to take the two instructional flights that are part of this scholarship. It will also qualify the student to take the FAA’s private pilot knowledge test.

Instructional Flights

This scholarship also includes two instructional flights in a light aircraft, the make and model of which will be matched to the student. The first flight will occur partway through the ground school, based on the instructor’s recommendation, and the second flight will occur after the successful completion of the ground school course. Each flight will include a pre-flight briefing, taxi and runway procedures, introduction to radio communications, the take-off, a series of in-flight maneuvers, the return and landing, and post-flight procedures. These two flights will be logged in the student’s personal logbook and count toward the minimum flight time required to earn the FAA private pilot certificate.

Continuing Aviation Education Grant

This scholarship program is also structured to appeal to those who are ready to continue their flight training in the immediate future. An additional $2,500 Continuing Aviation Education Grant is available annually to one scholarship recipient who intends to earn their FAA private pilot certificate within the following two years. Applicants for this grant must complete the initial ground school course, both introductory flights, and submit an essay by November 30 of the scholarship year. Funds are released 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.

Apply Now

Requirements are listed on the application form below. Please fill it out, sign it, and send it as instructed on page one. Thank you for your interest in our scholarship program and we wish you the best in your future aviation career!

Note that our partnerships make this scholarship practical only to central Puget Sound area students.

2024 Scholarship Application

Applications are due by February 29, 2024

If you have any questions about the scholarship program, please contact our Scholarship Committee Chair.


We are able to offer this youth flight training scholarship only because of the generous financial support of our donors. Since 2010, Cascade Warbirds has provided over eighty outstanding young people the opportunity to grow, find a career, and learn a lifelong avocation through the magic of flight.

Becoming a pilot builds upon and expands core STEM skills of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It pushes flight students to grow emotionally and build self-confidence. Minor or adult, learning to fly changes a person and opens them to a world of possibilities.

If you are interested in supporting our youth education efforts with a tax-deductible financial contribution, please contact our Finance Officer. You may also be able to donate directly from your tax-advantaged retirement account without it flowing through your income calculation; consult your tax advisor for details. Cascade Warbirds is a 501(c)(3) recognized nonprofit organization.

Thank you for your vote of confidence in Cascade Warbirds, your generous support, and your investment in our youth!

“Today I mailed our donation to the scholarship program in the name of my father, Captain Karl Mehrer, WWII vet recently deceased at 92 years old. He spent his last 40 years restoring historic sailing schooners on Puget Sound, and putting those ships to work training young people about the joys of the sea, many of whom he channeled into maritime careers. Thank the Warbirds for their fabulous formation flyby at the Captain’s memorial service over Lake Whatcom. We will never forget that tribute.”
 – Kathleen Mehrer

You may also contribute to Cascade Warbirds’ general programs through everyday purchases at popular retailers.

Recent News


2024 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to our memorial flight training scholarship winners! As usual, we received applications from a well-qualified group of young people. Kaitlyn Calawa of Edmonds attends both Kamiak High School and…

2024 Youth Flight Training Scholarship Open

The 2024 Cascade Warbirds Memorial Youth Flight Training Scholarship program is now open for applications! Through February 29, 2024, greater Seattle / central Puget Sound area students interested in learning…

2023 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to our memorial flight training scholarship winners! We had an especially large and well-qualified group of applicants this year. Lauren Hoyt of Bothell will be a senior this year…
2022 scholars

2022 Continuing Education Grant Winner

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…

2023 Youth Flight Training Scholarship Open

The 2023 Cascade Warbirds Memorial Youth Flight Training Scholarship program is now open for applications! Through March 17, 2023, greater Seattle / central Puget Sound area students interested in learning…

2022 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to our 2022 Cascade Warbirds Memorial Scholarship winners! Once again, we received an excellent set of applications. In fact, between our generous donors and the number of promising applications,…