Hood River Soaring Youth Program
The heart of Hood River Soaring is our commitment to youth. To become a certified glider pilot is a tremendous accomplishment that fosters maturity and self discipline. Many who begin with gliders go on to develop a career in professional aviation. Most importantly, when young people learn to fly, their self confidence grows exponentially.
Many young people with the ambition to fly lack the financial resources to make it happen. We believe this opportunity should be accessible to all people, regardless of economic means. Through our Youth Program, we provide work-study opportunities and scholarships to assist young people ages 13-25 in becoming glider pilots. If you are a young person living near or visiting the Hood River Valley, and want to learn more about becoming a glider pilot, please contact us.
The Hood River Soaring Youth Program offers assistance in three ways:
Discounted Fees: All youth members receive deep discounts on membership, instruction and glider rentals until their 26th birthday. HRS membership initiation fees and dues are reduced by more than 50%. All glider rental rates are discounted by 50% when flown by a youth member as a pre-solo, solo or certificated pilot.
Work-Study: Our work-study program provides financial assistance for the cost of glider flying lessons in exchange for the student’s service as ground crew on the airfield and for other work that contributes to the general operation of the club, including help with our scenic rides activity, grounds maintenance, and website and social media development.
Scholarships: Youth can apply for a scholarship, which can be used to help pay for membership fees, instruction, and glider pilot certification. Scholarships are available to exceptional young people who can earn them through academic performance, essays, nominations and recommendations from sponsors, and demonstrations of specific accomplishments and skills. To learn more, visit the SSA Scholarship Opportunities page.
A youth may begin learning to fly at any age and earn the privilege to fly solo in a glider at the age of 14. At Hood River Soaring we accept students starting at age 13. They begin their practical lessons on the airfield assisting in ground crew operations under the supervision of a qualified instructor. Once they prove themselves to be attentive and capable of responsible decision making, they can advance to aerial instruction. Hood River Soaring collaborates with local schools, social agencies, and civic organizations that share our dedication to empowering young people to succeed. We welcome your donations, contributions of ideas, and any other ways that you may want to help with our mission.