Aerospace Career Education Seeks Student Applicants for Summer Academy

jetBlue Foundation

Alternating between St. Thomas and St. Croix every year, Virgin Islands ACE (Aerospace Career Education) works with 30 to 35 young students each summer, introducing and exposing them to careers in aviation such as airline pilot, air traffic control, aerospace engineering, and airport and airline management. The 2019 ACE Academy will take place this year on St. Thomas from June 23 through June 28.

The opportunity application deadline is May 23 and the cost of attendance is corporate sponsored. The only cost the student incurs is a $50 application fee. Eight years ago, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) introduced the Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy to the Virgin Islands.

Nationally, The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, is part of its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Project Aerospace initiative, and it operates these ACE Academies introducing aviation industries as possible career paths to high school age students in 30 major cities across the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Many of ACE Academy’s prior years’ participants are currently attending aviation and prestigious military universities across the country, realizing their aeronautical aspirations.

The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals Summer ACE Academy is a nationally recognized program co-sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE).

Project Aerospace — Aviation Career Education

The purpose of Aviation Career Education (ACE) is to offer first level exposure to the aviation industry by providing aviation career exploration for middle and high school students. Academy participants learn about aviation history, theory of flight, and other aviation related subjects.

Students will have the opportunity to go on field trips to aviation facilities, museums and participate in other hands on activities designed to give students a total aviation experience.

The Virgin Island ACE program is designed to expose youths to the wide variety of career opportunities in aviation and aerospace. The goal is to provide an opportunity for students to receive hands-on experience of learning the history of aviation, fundamentals of aerodynamics, the role of government in aviation, and the many careers available to them in the aviation and aerospace industry.

Students will meet Aviation Professionals and participate in field trips to a variety of aviation facilities and educational institutions.

As a member of an ACE Academy the students will:
1) Take an orientation flight in a Cessna or Piper aircraft and fly the airplane under instruction of a certified flight instructor
2) Receive basic aviation education
3) Take field trips to different aviation related facilities
4) Be introduced to aviation history
5) Flight simulator
6) Learn the qualities of leadership
7) Associate and work with other youth
8) Meet professionals from the aviation community
9) Explore pathways towards becoming a professional aerospace engineer

Admission Requirements
Admission is offered to boys and girls from 13 to 18 years old who have an interest in learning about aviation. Applicants are competitively ranked based on age, cumulative GPA, and essay.
Note: the minimum age requirements may vary (contact your academy director via email)
• Students must be physically capable of participating in all activities.
• High standards of behavior and self-discipline are expected and students must abide by all academy regulations.
• Parents or guardians must attend an orientation before programs begin.

Application Process
1. Submit a completed online ACE Academy application by June 10. Once completed be sure to PRINT and bring to the first day or orientation at the academy.
2. Complete the online essay.
a. Write and submit an essay of one page (only one page) expressing your interest in
aviation. You may include your hobbies, civic involvement, and extra-curricular activities
b. We recommend you give some thought to your essay as it is reviewed by your director.
c. You may also consider typing it in MS Word or another text editor and cut and paste the content into the essay text block. Note you are only allowed a certain amount of space.
3. Submit a copy of your most recent official school transcript or report card indicating your cumulative GPA

Incomplete packages will not be considered for admission and all documents will be discarded. Students will need money only if they intend to purchase personal items and are responsible for keeping their own funds.

Times and Dates
Classes will take place Sunday, June 23 through Friday, June 28, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For information, contact Granville Theo Smith, director, at or 642-1082

Links 2019 Virgin Islands ACE Academy Registration:
2019 Virgin Islands Ace Academy High Res Flyer (20 MB):
2018 Virgin Islands Ace Academy News Coverage:
2016 Virgin Islands Ace Academy Video:
2016 Virgin Islands Ace Academy News Coverage: