• Boeing, Air League Host Hackney Students on Flying Scholarships

    LONDON, United Kingdom,  July 31, 2013 - Boeing [NYSE: BA] celebrated the achievements of eight London students, as they near completion of Boeing-sponsored flying scholarships in partnership with the Air League. Formed in 1909, the Air League’s mission is to enhance national understanding of the importance of aviation and aerospace in the UK and to excite and engage young people’s interest in these areas. “Boeing is immensely proud to support the Air League student flying scholarships and give young people the chance to develop new skills and gain the confidence to pursue their life goals,” said Sir Roger Bone, president of Boeing UK. “Boeing is committed to inspiring young people to continue with their education. The scholarships are the perfect way to harness the enthusiasm young people have for aviation as the UK searches for the next generation of aerospace innovators.”

    The eight students from Skinners’ Academy in Hackney, London, were chosen to participate in the gliding programme after successfully passing a rigorous application process managed by British Airways.  The students were then placed in an intensive two-week gliding course at the London Gliding Club in Dunstable, trained by expert pilots and mentored by experienced professionals at the Air League.

    “I’ve always loved planes, but I didn’t think that sort of opportunity would come up at my school,” said Roma Gajre, one of the Skinners’ Academy scholars. “I jumped at the chance to apply to learn how to fly a glider, and I cannot believe that, less than two weeks after setting foot in one, I am almost ready to fly solo. I’ve proved to myself that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. And now I know I want to work in aviation when I finish my education.”

    Christopher Walkinshaw, Chairman of the Air League’s Board of Trustees, commented: “The Air League’s role is to promote ‘air mindedness’ in young people and to illustrate to government how vital aviation and aerospace are to the economic well being of the UK.  Inspiring young people with such challenges, made possible by leading aerospace companies, is pivotal to our success.”

    The scholarship scheme was created to reach out to young people from inner London who would not usually have access to such learning opportunities. The Air League and Boeing teamed with Linklaters LLP, who have existing links with a number of East London schools, and opened applications to Skinners’ Academy students aged between 16 and 18. There were two schemes on offer: a gliding taster day for 20 students and the two-week gliding scholarship for eight students during the summer holiday.

    “We’re grateful to the Air League and Boeing for giving our students the chance to learn how to fly a glider solo,” said Jenny Wilkins, Principal of Skinners’ Academy. “They have learned so many valuable life skills such as communication, self reliance, responsibility and teamwork that will stand them in good stead for their future careers.”

    As part of Boeing’s commitment to make a positive contribution in its communities, Boeing UK is a longstanding partner of the Air League and funds a number of flying scholarships for young people, veterans and the disabled. One of the Air League’s best-known achievements is the foundation of the Air Cadets, and its patron is HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

    Boeing engages with and impacts the world in many different ways - through its products and services, its business practices and its community engagement. With more than 1,300 employees across the UK, from Glasgow to Gosport, Boeing partners with a wide range of organizations to invest in communities and help address social challenges.  More information is available at www.boeing.co.uk/community.

    This year, Boeing celebrates 75 years of successful partnership with the UK Boeing spends on average $1 billion a year with British industry in support of thousands of hi-tech jobs across the country. More information is available at www.boeing.co.uk/75.

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    ITV London filmed the students and the video report can be found here http://www.itv.com/news/london/update/2013-07-31/taking-to-the-skies/.