Monday, June 29, 2009

You Saw It Here First!: Mackenzie Sims

Since 1998, the Oscoda-Wurtsmith has offered a $3000 Pilot’s Training Scholarship to the young men and women of Alcona and Iosco counties who are interested in flight. However, only one young citizen can win this award and this year it went to Alcona’s very own Mackenzie Sims.

Between the months of December and April, Mackenzie tackled the grueling process of filling out scholarship applications. He has had his eye on the Pilot’s Training Scholarship since noticing a poster advertising it in the hallways of his school-Alcona High. He filled out the long application and went through the entire Federal Aviation Administration handbook to find the answers to 8 questions that could make or break his dreams.

A year ago, Sims applied for this scholarship. However, he soon found out that he was 2 weeks behind on making the age limit. The requirements for the Pilot’s Training Scholarship declare that you must be 16 years old by April 1 of the year the scholarship is awarded. Mackenzie was a little too late and his application was ignored.

Sims has had a dream of flight since he was 5. He says that it was Luke Skywalker who made him fall in love with flight. “I saw him blasting tie fighters out of the sky and though ‘that’s what I’m going to grow up to do.’” It was a few years later that he realized that shooting space fighters out of the sky was not a reality, but he still wanted to be off the ground. It was also around this time that he began to see how important freedom and his country was.

Hence, Sims decided to join his fascination with flight and the call of duty to his country that he felt dwelling inside him. He says he was always built for the military, that when he was young he was bringing his parent’s home finger painted tanks. Sims plans on joining an ROTC program, choosing from a wide variety of schools that will offer him the training he seeks.

After college, he plans to enlist in the military and eventually lead the Airborne Infintry. However, through his glasses, he has a setback. Some flight services, such as fighter pilots, in the military will not allow those without 20/20 vision to fly and Mackenzie wears glasses. But Sims won’t let that stop him, he will take all the roads that are open to him and succeed.

Sims has accomplished many things on the road to his dreams. He started with building model rockets and model airplanes, started flying remote controlled airplanes on the Great Lakes Signal Aces group, and is currently a Civil Air Cadet on the U.S. Civil Air Control where he is a Cadet Master Sergeant.

Sims started his training two weeks ago and is having a great time. He has already learned torking tendencies, and has learned the controls and gauges. He is very surprised at the amount of hands on learning he’s been getting so early in his training.

Sims would like to thank family friends Richard and Gale Simmons for supporting him, County Commisioner Kevin Boyat for his final recommendation, and John Barsalau, the Airport Manager at the Wurtsmith Airport for encouraging him. He is the son of Gary and Connie Sims of Alcona.
Sometimes I amaze myself...
Again, this is the raw article, my editor hasn't edited it yet. I want to know what you think. I didn't make him sound like I thought he was amazing did I?

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