Clay Lacy Aviation last month awarded scholarships to two pilots-in-training at Orange County College, helping them cover flight instruction costs as they work towards their professional pilot licenses. Katie Kirby and Joseph White are the latest recipients of the charter jet company’s scholarship program, which provides $3,750 to four students of Orange County College’s Aviation Science program per year — two in the spring, two in the fall. “The biggest challenge students face when they’re learning to fly is money — putting the money together to pursue certifications,” Scott Cutshall, Clay Lacy’s vice president of brand development, told the Business Journal. Kirby and White are both pursuing their private pilot licenses, which cost roughly $12,000 between 55 hours of flight training and Federal Aviation Administration test fees. Earning further instrument and commercial licenses can cost an additional $17,000 and $6,500, respectively. “We’re delighted to be fortunate enough to help the next generation pursue their passion and their careers,” Cutshall said. He added that, of the six scholarship winners to date, four are women. “We’re seeing a larger and larger proportion of students pursuing pilot or aviation mechanic careers being women. I think it’s a cultural shift … where there is greater encouragement for (those types of jobs).” Clay Lacy established an office in Orange County in 2016 and is headquartered in Van Nuys. The company also offers a scholarship program for aviation mechanics at LAUSD’s North Valley Occupational Center Aviation Mechanics School at the Van Nuys Airport. It awards $10,200 to that program each November.