Aim High Flight Academy

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a Buncombe County School student’s achievements outside the classroom earned him a spot in an Air Force scholarship program. Eli Batts is one of about 100 students nationwide selected for the Aim High Flight Academy. The AFRS Detachment 1 Aim High Flight Academy provides young people interested in aviation with training toward attaining a private pilot’s certificate. It is held at universities across the country.

What is AIM High?

The Air Force Recruiting Service is working to increase diversity in its rated career fields, including pilots. A program called the AIM High Flight Academy makes it easier for young people to become pilots by covering their education, training, and mentorship costs. The program targets students not affiliated with the military, as it aims to cast a wide net to find potential aviators.

In 2022, the program will take 72 well-deserved students to California Aeronautical University, where they’ll receive one-on-one flight instruction from seasoned Air Force pilots and certified flight instructors. Upon completion, the students will earn up to 15 flight hours. Students are provided with meals, lodging and chaperones by the host university. The AIM High Flight Academy is a key part of the Air Force’s rated diversity improvement strategy, which was initiated by the chief of staff to attract, recruit, and retain a diverse rated corps.

Among the first to complete the prestigious three-week scholarship is Dylan Pyatt, a senior at Enka High School in Buncombe County Schools (BCS). The student was accepted into the AIM High Flight Academy, which will give him an aviation scholarship to take him through a three-week introductory flight program.

The Aim High app also allows students to connect with an Air Force recruiter and learn more about the career opportunities. According to an Air Force news release, the app’s latest update includes a new feature that will help interested Guardians become more familiar with Air Force pilot requirements.

What is the AIM High App

What is the AIM High App?

Whether you are an Airman, interested in joining, or just want to stay connected with your friends and family who serve the Aim High app is your one-stop shop for all things USAF. It is the best way to stay informed about the latest news and events and the exciting career opportunities that the Air Force offers.

The Air Force has a new feature on its Aim High app that will allow anyone who has the app to become a recruiter. The update, pushed Jan. 10, allows any user to submit information about a friend or acquaintance who may be interested in becoming an Air Force airman.

“It’s really a new recruitment tool that lets you refer someone directly to the Air Force,” Air Force Recruiting Service Chief of Staff Brigadier General Mark O’Donley said. A person who refers a potential applicant to AFRS is eligible for the Stellar Talent Acquisition Recruiting (STARR) medal, which can earn them up to two Air and Space Achievement medals or up to three Air and Space Commendation medals if they refer someone who departs for basic military training.

Those who use the Aim High app will need to have their friend or acquaintance sign up on their behalf and provide their name, email address, phone number, and ZIP code. The Air Force does not screen the information submitted or verify that the person wants to be contacted by a recruiter, which could lead to some people spamming and bothering those who do not want to join.

What is the AIM High Scholarship Program?

The AIM High Scholarship Program is a grant-based program to support student college success. The grants are intended to complement other financial aid and serve as a supplement to help students meet the cost of attendance at their selected school. Grants are awarded on a merit-based basis. The grant number and dollar amount are subject to annual appropriations and may vary by institution.

The Air Force is casting a wide net to reach youth who have an interest in aviation but may not know if a career in the military is achievable for them. That’s why the AIM High app was developed to connect them with their local AFRS recruiter and provide them with Air Force career content.

Dylan Pyatt of Enka High School is the first student from Buncombe County Schools to receive a grant through the AIM High Flight Academy. The scholarship, offered by the Air Force Recruiting Service’s Detachment 1, covers the cost of the three-week introductory flight training program, where participants earn 15 hours of flight time.

It took more than a year to create timelines, schedules, and curriculum for this summer’s inaugural Aim High Flight Academy at Elizabeth City State University. The program kept the campus’ instructors busy and provided a valuable experience for those who participated. Students were also mentored by rated officers who helped them understand the pathways to become an Air Force pilot or any other rated officer field.

What is the AIM High Mentorship Program

What is the AIM High Mentorship Program?

The Advanced Immersion and Mentoring (AIM) initiative aims to empower a broad cohort of incoming first-year students by providing immersive academic opportunities across the liberal arts. This summer program is important to W&L’s ongoing commitment to a more diverse and inclusive community.

This year, 72 well-deserving young people considering aviation as a career are taking flight lessons for free as part of the AIM High Flight Academy, led by Air Force Recruiting Service Detachment 1. Participants earn flight hours toward their private pilot’s license while working with experienced instructors.

In addition to flight instruction, the AIM High Flight Academy includes STEM-based activities. This year, scholars will work with Dr. Pickett and her Summer Research Scholars on an academic immersion project focused on “From Shakespeare to Sci-Fi.” Scholars will develop greater confidence in their reading comprehension and literary interpretation skills by participating in discussions about Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Emily St. John Mandel’s novel Station Eleven, and the 2021 MAX limited series based on that book.

In addition to these academic immersion experiences, AIM High provides a unique opportunity for youth to interact with Air Force role models and mentors. The AIM High Mentorship Program, an Alternative to Placement (ATP) program for high-risk youth on probation in New York City, matches each AIM High participant with a paid advocate-mentor who works with them on an array of prosocial goals over the course of six to nine months. Over two-thirds of AIM High participants complete the program without being resentenced to a juvenile residential facility, and only 3 percent experience a felony reconviction within 12 months of completion.