Senior Grace Lancaster has known for as long as she can remember that she is destined to fly. During her sophomore year, Grace completed all the necessary legwork to bring to SCA’s attention the Crosswinds Aviation Academy through the Livingston Educational Service Agency (LESA) and Howell High School. During her junior year, Grace earned two academic credits at the Aviation Academy while completing coursework toward her Private Pilot’s License. Her work continued during her summer and after school, including a Senior Individualized Project (SIP): Exploring Aviation. During her SIP, Grace completed several certifications and a job shadow with the Michigan Air National Guard.
On January 23, 2024, Senior, Grace Lancaster received the Brigadier General Billy Mitchell Award, earning the rank of Cadet Second Lieutenant from the Civil Air Patrol, USAF Auxiliary, Livonia Thunderbolt Composite Squadron (GLR-MI-183), promoting her to a commissioned cadet officer. The Mitchell Award is conferred on only the top 15% of Civil Air Patrol cadets globally, and in addition to this honor, Grace is the first young woman in her Squadron to receive the award since 2018.
Grace became a cadet with the Civil Air Patrol in September 2021, where she was immersed in a program which focuses on the four aspects of cadet life: leadership, fitness, aerospace, and character. With an “interest in learning to fly”, Grace participated in weekly meetings, monthly staff meetings and attended weekend activities where she was introduced to orientation flights, which prepared her to fly powered aircraft and gliders. As a result of her training through CAP, Grace holds her student pilot certificate with solo endorsements (+50 hours of flying time in a Diamond C-1 Eclipse); she is currently working toward her private pilot license. With “good weather”, Grace hopes to see this achievement by spring!
The Mitchell Award marks the completion of Phase II of the CAP Cadet Program, recognizing sustained excellence in all four areas of cadet life…Further, Mitchell cadets must pass comprehensive examinations on leadership and aerospace topics and have completed a weeklong encampment immersing in a challenging Core Values and Stem Environment. Grace will continue to serve as cadet second lieutenant in her role as Squadron Cadet Commander and Aerospace Officer, challenged to lead and serve junior-ranking cadets, while continuing to develop into a “dynamic American and aerospace engineer.”
Congratulations, Grace, for continuing to develop your unique dignity, identity, and gifts bestowed on you by God. With faith and reason, you will continue to set the world ablaze!
Learn more about the Billy Mitchell Award: