Glenwood High School student wins scholarship to earn her wings
“I want to fly at night in the weather and land on an aircraft carrier.” That’s what Davy Stanfield-Brown said as a freshman her first day of JROTC at Glenwood Springs High School, according to program Chief Paul Nunemann.
Now, thanks to a new Air Force scholarship, Stanfield-Brown has the chance to earn her private pilot’s license this summer before beginning her senior year in high school.
“It gives me good flight experience, so I applied to it to get more background and work toward my private pilot’s license,” Stanfield-Brown said.
Stanfield -Brown will receive the Air Force JROTC Flight Academy, Chief of Staff Private Pilot Scholarship program, a joint venture between the military and private aerospace industry to address the nationwide pilot shortage.
The eight-week program will take place this summer at one of several participating universities. The requirements included an aviation qualification test on math, instrument comprehension and other technical knowledge, passing a fitness test, and having a GPA of 3.0 or above.
Students who complete the training are not required to commit to sign up for the military, but that’s exactly what Stanfield-Brown intends to do. She plans to apply to the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy.
The Call to serve
“There’s a strong line of that military presence in my family,” Stanfield-Brown said. “I’m very patriotic and I have a huge love for this country. I couldn’t think of a better way to give to my country other than to serve. I would put my life on the line for this nation and the ideals behind it,” she said.
Aviation and military service runs in Stanfield-Brown’s family. Two of her aunts, her namesake Davy Lampman, a certified commercial instructor, and private pilot Stephanie Stanfield, founded Triple S Flying Service in Glenwood Springs in the mid 1980s. They instilled a love of flight in Stanfield-Brown at an early age.
“They brought me up in a plane one time, and I was hooked from there,” Stanfield-Brown said.
Stanfield-Brown’s grandfather, Air Force Colonel Donald Stanfield, commanded the 832nd Air Division, logged more than 1,120 combat hours on 550 missions. Her sister served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The military estimates it needs to hire 8,000 pilots each year to address the shortage of capable staff, and the commercial air sector isn’t much better off.
The flight industry isn’t very diverse at the pilot level – just 6 percent of pilots are women, and less than 10 percent are minorities, according to the Air Force.
Nunemann and GSHS Principal Paul Freeman started the JROTC program five years ago. Since the first class of around 20 cadets, the program has grown to nearly 100 students.
Stanfield-Brown has logged more than 20 hours in Nunemann’s Cessna 182, including a flight to Telluride last fall. Nunemann donates his plane and the equipment and associated costs to the program.
“Thank goodness Glenwood Springs has an airport,” Nunemann said. “Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been able to get the hours.”
Besides the flight program, JROTC at GSHS offers co-curricular activities like the color guard, which honors a number of civic events around Glenwood Springs and has won first place in regional competitions, a marksmanship team, a model rocketry team, and a drill team that will perform for the first time this February.
As flight commander, Stanfield-Brown is in charge of around half the cadets in the unit. That includes resolving interpersonal conflicts, ensuring everyone is where they need to be and doing what they’re supposed to.
“My experience [in JROTC] has been really beneficial,” Stanfield-Brown said. “Overall, it’s strengthened my character, it’s taught me how to hold myself and present myself,” she said.
Stanfield-Brown said she also learns discipline as a dancer with the School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
“I really like it, not just for the discipline that comes with it, but the self expression,” she said. “It’s kind of like an escape for me. I don’t have to think about school or homework when I’m in dance, I can just focus on that.”
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