“Nothing is handed to you on a silver platter. You’ve got to put some kind of effort in to get there.”

— Eugene May 2018

  • Description: Master Pilot Eugene May Classroom Enrichment Grant for Jackson, TN (Madison County), sponsored by Taste of Aviation
  • Amount: $700
  • Deadline: Due no later than midnight Central Time on March 31, 2019.
  • Submission via email at


Master Pilot, Eugene May was born on Valentine’s Day 1923 in Jackson, TN. While working in the cotton fields, he set a goal to fly an airplane and he went on to become one of the early black pilots when he earned his license in 1948. He still owns a 1951 Chrome Swift Globe airplane that he houses at Gibson County Airport. What is most striking about him is that he did not want to be a commercial pilot – he just wanted to fly! Eugene May is a leader who has demonstrated skills in critical thinking, goal setting and financial literacy. In 2017, the Memphis Blackhawks bestowed him with the lofty title of “Honorary Member.” Then in 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration recognized him as a “Master Pilot” with the support of the Memphis Blackhawks, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, the Memphis Chapter National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees, the Memphis Chapter Tuskegee Airmen, Project Altitude, Gibson County Airport, McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport, Dyer Foods, Lane College and Taste of Aviation.

In recognition of Master Pilot Eugene May’s position as a positive role model, this grant will be awarded to a practicing educator in the Jackson, TN (Madison County) area and their school to create a program to inspire students around similar life goals. The successful candidate must design a plan that shares his legacy as a leader and that fosters critical thinking, goal setting and financial literacy in students. The grant funding may be used for resource materials, supplies, equipment, programs, transportation and technology. Please keep in mind that any of the organizations mentioned above may be
available to participate in your program.

This grant is sponsored by Taste of Aviation (TOA), a non-profit organization whose mission is to introduce youth and adults of all ages to the historical, social and career contributions of aviation. TOA utilizes an array of methods to engage the community, including Aviation / Aerospace career days; Book/web publications; Educational outreach; Strategic corporate and organizational partnerships and community events like Saturday Flight School. In addition to outreach events, TOA also provides scholarship opportunities in STREAM careers, and funding for special projects.

“Keep Looking Up”

Taste of Aviation Eugene May Classroom Enrichment Grant