Two North Pole students chosen for competitive Flight Academy Scholarship

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NORTH POLE, Alaska Two North Pole High School JROTC students are headed to Flight Academy this summer.

Students use a flight simulator at North Pole High School.

"They were the first two cadets in the state of Alaska to be accepted for this program, so that's really cool to see, and it's very competitive, only 120, 150 students so far have been selected, per nation. 120 last year, 150 this year, so for 2 out of 150 to be selected this year is really cool to see," said Michael Rauenhorst, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor for North Pole High School's JROTC program.

One of the students, Sarah Price, says she is going to college to become a physician with the hopes of becoming a flight surgeon one day. "The thing with the scholarship is that there's no service commitment so you can go to the flight academy, you don't have to go into the military afterwards, you're not obligated to become a pilot, really the goal of the program is to peak kid's interest into aviation and sort of help guide them towards that if that's what they want to do," said Price.

The other student chosen for the scholarship Luke Roehrig wants to be an Air Force fighter jet pilot and says this opportunity helps him gain the necessary flight hours to be a pilot, which can be expensive. "So having this opportunity to go and do it, fly planes, they have a plane there for you, you're in the planes with the instructors, it's like 'wow, they're all ready for me,’ I don't have to pay too much, it's just a really nice opportunity."

They will have the opportunity to gain college credit and get their private pilot's certification and Roehrig says he likes using the flight simulator in class to make what he learns in the books a little more real.

"When you're reading the books, it's a bunch of numbers, and it's a bunch of numbers and you really have to think about it, and you have to try to put it all together, but then you get to do it in a plane, and you're like oh that's where that goes, that's what they're talking about with that, and you get to go from a place to a place, which is really cool to do," said Roehrig.

Roehrig and Price leave at the beginning of the summer for flight academy, and will be training for approximately 8 weeks.