Flight Academy

Flight Academy Scholarship Program

Providing scholarships for underserved and at-risk students in South Carolina to attend Patriots Point educational programs is one of the primary missions of the USS Yorktown Foundation. From 2016 to the present, the Foundation has funded over 5000 scholarships for these students from across the state of South Carolina. Although we serve any student group from a Title 1 school, we focus on JROTC students from depressed and struggling communities. The JROTC program (as well as other military-based student programs) is designed to “teach students the value of citizenship, leadership, military service, service to the community, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment, while instilling in them self-esteem, teamwork, and self-discipline”.

The students in these military based programs have made a choice to commit their time and energy to these demanding programs to create a better future for themselves- they are thinking about their future and how to have the best chance at success with limited choices and resources. We believe these are “our kids” because they have self-selected to serve a mission so closely aligned with that of Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum and we are deeply committed to supporting them by opening up possibilities that will lift them out of poverty.

Our state has over 7000 JROTC cadets in 330 public schools, primarily in rural districts, and the large majority of these students are poor and have limited or no access to STEM programming and cutting- edge technology. STEM education, starting at a young age, is the key to sustainable careers for today's students and to the development of the workforce in our state. In the Flight Academy, we are partnering with American Airlines with the “Take Flight to Your Future” program, a career development program designed to introduce the exciting and growing field of commercial aviation to underserved and diverse student populations. This immersive and cutting-edge program is a powerful tool that shows students what they are capable of and the array of career choices that are attainable and sustainable.

Most of these students have rarely traveled outside their community, and many of these communities are some of the poorest in the country. These groups are eager to come to Patriots Point, see the ship, learn about our country’s history and have the incredible experience of the Flight Academy. Because we believe in the power of this program to change lives and address the cycle of poverty on an individual basis, the USS Yorktown Foundation has created a dedicated fund for Title 1 JROTC/Sea Cadets/Student organizations to participate in the Flight Academy and Overnight Camping Program at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. Funding is need based and available to any middle or high school student group in our state. The fund will be available on a first come, first serve basis, but our goal is to have enough funds available at all times so that no student or group is turned away. Our goal is to raise and maintain $50,000 for this fund.

As part of this effort, and with a goal of long-term program sustainability, the USS Yorktown Foundation has established the MAC BURDETTE JROTC SCHOLARSHIP ENDOWMENT FUND in honor of the Museum’s recently retired long-term Executive Director. Mac is passionate about the Foundation’s Scholarship Program, and the USS Yorktown Foundation is pleased to honor him by committing $20,000 to create the endowment.

We have a dedicated Board of Directors, committed staff and a clear mission and we believe, with your support and partnership, that we can make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged students in the state of South Carolina. Thank you for all you are doing to help end the cycle of poverty.

Want to be part of the solution?

  • Fund a Scholarship, Impact a Life - $50 / student
  • Fund a Team, Impact 30 Lives - $1500

  • Fund a School, Impact 100 Lives - $5000
  • Fund the Endowment, Impact Future Generations - Any Level

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