Henley JROTC student chosen for competitive aviation program

Gillian Fenner will spend eight weeks this summer earning her private pilot’s license

A Henley High School Junior ROTC cadet is one of 200 students nationwide chosen to participate in a summer program to earn her private pilot’s license.


Gillian Fenner, a junior, was chosen for the Air Force Junior ROTC Flight Academy scholarship program following a competitive application process that includes an aviation qualification test and physical fitness test as well as evaluation based on extracurricular activities, aviation experience and recommendations. More than 2,500 students applied this year; of those only 200 were selected for the scholarship valued at approximately $22,500.

“My goal when I get older is to be pilot,” Fenner said. “I’m a little nervous, but I’m excited.”

Fenner, a member of the school’s engineering club, cross country, and track and swim teams, maintains a 4.0 GPA. She has been a member of Junior ROTC since her freshman year and fills a key leadership position this year as its Inspector General.

“Gillian is a top student and one of our top cadets who has a strong interest in aviation,” said Jason Budnick, retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and JROTC senior aerospace science instructor.

Gillian Fenner, a member of Henley’s Junior ROTC, was
chosen for a competitive
aviation scholarship program.

Budnick called the program highly selective. Of five Henley JROTC students who applied this year, Gillian was selected and classmate junior Skyler Howard was chosen as an alternate.

The eight-week summer program is offered at several universities around the country. Gillian will find out where she will study this spring.