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Financial Assistance 2017

Institute of Flight donors fund scholarships for aerospace summer campers

STEAM Camp student

Like so many aspects of aviation, too often the cost of participation is prohibitive. This can apply to taking a single flying lesson, chartering a plane, or even aerospace-themed education. The Institute of Flight’s summer STEAM Camp sessions are designed to provide a high-quality, unique experience for young people, while providing financial assistance to make it accessible to the widest possible range of participants.

During this year’s session, the Institute was able to provide scholarships for several campers whose families were faced with difficult financial challenges. Too often, this is the beginning and end of this discussion, but the Institute’s commitment to its mission means that additional steps can be taken to ensure participation. Because of its focus and intended age group, the extra support this program provides is critical.

Returning from last year, Dyanee Bouton is one parent who relies on the Institute’s Financial Assistance program to ensure that her son Gavin will have an unforgettable experience during the summer, without pushing the family into a financial corner. During a discussion about the value of the program to her and her family, Ms. Bouton said, “I'm just truly grateful that such a program exists and Gavin can think, create, and really enjoy these camps.” This kind of feedback proves the value of this program and demonstrates the impact it can have.

Similarly, Mia Yapjoco pursued several scholarships this year in the hopes of providing her daughter Esther with some additional activities during the summer, while also emphasizing some of the science and technology topics that they had been discussing at home. Because of tight finances, their family requested a scholarship, but also provided a donation of their time, working with other Institute staff to support the Destiny Module exhibit as a volunteer.  In discussions about her daughter’s experience with the STEAM Camp, Mia said, “She [Esther] truly enjoys learning something new and telling her siblings and friends about programming and building robots.” 

Moving forward, the Institute will continue to provide high-quality, aerospace-themed education while also identifying methods by which students of all ages, from all backgrounds, can learn about this exciting field and find their own place within the world of aviation.