Student Completes New AFJROTC Flight Academy Program
Friday, September 6, 2019

Cheyanne Montano, a senior and Air Force Junior ROTC cadet at Lincoln-Way West High School, has completed the private pilot license training course at California Baptist University in Riverside, CA earning her private pilot license.

Montano is one of 150 Air Force Junior ROTC cadets around the world to receive the Chief of Staff of the Air Force scholarship from Headquarters Air Force Junior ROTC, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama. More than 1,600 cadets applied for one of the 150 scholarships, valued at approximately $20,000.

Graduates of the program who earned their private pilot license do not incur a military commitment to the Air Force or other branch of service, nor does completing the program guarantee acceptance into one of the military’s commissioning programs.

The Flight Academy Scholarship Program is a new Air Force-level initiative. In collaboration with the commercial aviation industry to address the national civilian and military pilot shortage, Air Force Junior ROTC has been charged by the Air Force Aircrew Crisis Task Force to bring back the “luster of aviation” to high school students and to increase diversity in aviation fields.

During Montano’s time in the program, she faced many challenges, but completing the program is something she will always remember.
“Flight Academy was an amazing experience where I met many lifelong friends. I was challenged and inspired to push myself every day. After flying solo in week six, I knew this was the career for me. Thank you AFJROTC!” said Montano.

”Cheyanne is the first cadet ever from Lincoln-Way West and Central to have been selected and graduate from the Flight Academy. This experience really took her out of her comfort zone but she persevered, like she always does, and overcame many obstacles to achieve her goal,” according to her Aerospace Science Instructor, Master Sergeant Dan Schliffka.

The application process for the summer 2020 program will begin in late September or early October.

The mission of Air Force Junior ROTC is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community, while instilling values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and sense of accomplishment. There are more than 120,000 high school students enrolled in Air Force Junior ROTC at more than 880 high schools in the U.S and overseas.