Lincoln-Way West Cadet Selected for AFJROTC Flight Academy
Monday, April 15, 2019

Cheyanne Montano, an 11th grade Air Force Junior ROTC cadet at Lincoln-Way West High School, has received a scholarship to attend California Baptist University, to participate in a private pilot license training program in the summer of 2019.

“I am still in shock and processing the fact that I am actually going, and that I'll be spending my summer learning to fly a plane in California! It feels surreal. I'm both nervous and excited about this once in a lifetime opportunity and I want to represent Lincoln-Way West High School and AFJROTC in the best way possible,” Montano said.

Cadet Montano is one of 150 Air Force Junior ROTC cadets around the world to receive the scholarship from Headquarters Air Force Junior ROTC, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama. More than 1,560 cadets applied for one of the 150 scholarships, which covers transportation, room and board, academics and flight hours required to potentially earn a private pilot license. The scholarship is valued at approximately $20,000.

“This opportunity is amazing and probably life changing. It means that through AFJROTC I learned to push myself and accept new challenges such as applying for this scholarship, and now that I've been selected, it means I'll continue to work hard so that I do well while at Flight School,” Montano said.

The Flight Academy Scholarship Program is an Air Force-level initiative in collaboration with the commercial aviation industry to address the national civilian and military pilot shortage.

“Being a pilot was something I never imagined I could do until learning about it through AFJROTC. It has opened my eyes as to how few women pilots there are and until recently women weren't allowed to fly combat missions in the military. I've always liked a challenge so becoming a pilot is out of the ordinary and empowering,” says Montano.

Those who participate in the program 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.

“We had 20 cadets apply for the scholarship and we’re thankful to have one who will attend,” says Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, Lieutenant Colonel George Ramey, USAF (ret.). “The competition is very competitive between the highest quality of cadets. Cadet Montano distinguished herself from her peers as a freshman, is currently one of our cadet squadron commanders, and she continues to set herself apart from her peers. We are very proud of her.”

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. When looking to fill tomorrow’s career needs with the best candidates, there is simply no better place for the nation to look than Air Force Junior ROTC!