KNOB NOSTER — Cadets Dawson Nakoneczny and Kevin Clark, both seniors at Warrensburg High School and members of the TRIAD AFJROTC program hosted by Knob Noster High School, have earned their private pilot licenses.

Nakoneczny and Clark are only two of 150 Air Force Junior ROTC cadets around the world selected 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.

Each were placed in an intensive eight week course with Nakoneczny at Embry Riddle, Prescott, Arizona, and Clark at Purdue, Indiana.

The Flight Academy Scholarship Program is a new Air Force-level initiative, the district said.

In collaboration with the commercial aviation industry to address the national civilian and military pilot shortage, the Air Force Aircrew Crisis Task Force has charges Air Force Junior ROTC to bring back the “luster of aviation” to high school students and to increase diversity in aviation fields.

During their time in the program, they faced many challenges, but completing the program is something they both said made a positive impact on their lives.

“My time at the Flight Academy was challenging and intense, but the satisfaction of earning my Private Pilot Certificate and the experiences I gained will stay with me for many years to come,” Nakoneczny expressed about the program.

The AFJROTC cadet application process for the summer 2020 program has already begun.

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