I am Juuso Piirainen - a 21 year old Aviation Student, Pilot and Royal Ranger from Finland. My goal is to be first graduate from St. Louis University's Global Aviation Program, which will open up several different possibilities for me in the future career in the aviation industry.
I am studying Bachelor of Science in Global Aviation degree at St. Louis University's Parks College, a world renown center of excellence in aviation science. This degree will provide me with the professional pilot license for both European and North American regulations. I am the first student accepted to this program, and I have already finished the first year in Madrid Campus, Spain. At the moment I am serving the mandatory military service for Finnish male citizens as a special NCO in the Finnish Airforce. I have three years left to complete my studies at SLU, and will finish as the very first graduate from the Global Aviation program.
SO, WHY DO I NEED YOUR HELP?
There are a number of ambitious, academically-able young adults in my situtiation being prevented from realizing their ambitions and becoming better contributors to the society due to lack of finances. Being a Finn, the university education is basically free in my home country. However, in order to make my dream come ture, I had to enroll in the US University. The education in SLU requires all together $200,000, which makes $50,000 per year including tuition, room and board. On the top of that the actual flight fees are a bit over $10,000 per year.
As said, I have finished the first year of my studies. This was possible with the help of my parents, my small savings from the summer jobs, and the financial gifts I received after graduating from the high school. Also I got a scholarship from SLU and some financial aid from the Finnish Government. The scholarship of SLU (about $4,700 / year) and the aid from the Finnish Government (about $4,900 / year) will cover less than one fifth of the need I have.
I need your special help to cover the expences for the next year of my studies. With all expenses and financial help this would make approxiamtely $50,000.
Me and My Education
I was born in Finland and lived first year of my life in Brussels, Belgium. After that my parents moved back to Finland where I lived my childhood.
I attended Finnish Primary School in Keuruu and in Jyväskylä. After that attended Upper Secondary School with the concentration in aviation in Tikkakoski, Jyväskylä.
I earned my Private Pilot License during the upper secondary school studies. I also received a special recognition at graduation by teachers for the excellent accomplishment of aviation studies.
I attended the High School of Neekosa, Wisconsin for one semester (Fall 2012) as an exchange student. I earned my US Private Pilot Certificate (FAA Airmen Certification) during this time.
I have completed first year of the Global Aviation Degree at the Madrid Campus of SLU. I was accepted to this program as the very first student ever. The portion of European studies is completed.
My special NCO Training in the Finnish Airforce will be finished by the end of this year.
I have loved flying as long as I can remember. Is this the outcome of being up in the air first time in my mom's belly, several times during the first year of my life, or the times during my early childhood? I don not know that, but whenever I got my inner wings, I knew one day I want to become a professional pilot.
It was very clear to me that I will do my upper secondary school studies at Tikkakoski which offered aviation concentration as an option.The school locates about an hour bus drive away from my home, but instead of attending the school in the neighborhood (5 min. walk), I wanted to complete my first aviation studies in Tikkakoski. The school offered the theoretical studies for free of charge, and with the help of my parents I was able to cover the actual flight fees. The funny part is I got my private pilot license before I got my driving license.
While being in the US as an exchange student, i got the FAA Airmen Certificate, which is similar to private pilot license in Europe. During that time I had also one of my best flying experiences this far, since I had an opportunity to land and later on take-off a twin-engine Cessna on the runway of O'Hare, Chicago, which is one of the busiest airports of the world.
I have had special interest in aviation not only at school but also during my free time. I have been a volunteer representing our school and flying association in different occasions, like special exhibition days for students.
Besides the "normal flying", I am very keen on aerobatics, which is also known as stunt flying. Unfortunately I have not had an opportunity to do that yet, but as soon as a possibility is provided i will go for it.
I have also been a volunteer for rescue and fire flight activity in the Central Finland.
I have been serving as a debuty member for the board of trustees in the local aviation association called Keski-Suomen Ilmailijat (Aviators of Central Finland) for two years.
Beside aviation I have some other hobbies as well. During the winter time I do some downhill skiing, and during the summer I golf. Also regular exercise is part of my weekly routine including jogging, workout, and crossfit.
WHERE WILL YOUR MONEY GO?
Tuition fees – $38,700
Room and Board – $10,338
Study expenses (travel and course materials) – $1,300
Total costs – $61,153 per year.
Financial aid – scholarship and government aid of $9,600 per year
TOTAL NEED: $51,553
$50,000 is the amount I am hoping to raise with your support. I know it sounds a huge amount of money, and believe it or not, for me it is even more than that. However, I also believe in the power of networking, power of friendship, and power of multiplication. Your donation, even though you may feel it is not much, is crucial in order to achieve this goal. Just as an example: if you support my studies with $50, and share this message with your friends, and all together 1000 individuals and/or companies will join this campaign with the same amount, the goal is reached. If the goal is exceeded, the finances will go directly to cover the expenses of the following school years.
Token of Appreciation
Royal Rangers Ministry has played a vital part of my life as growing to young man I am today. In spite of the fact I am need of all the finances, I want to show my appreciation and donate 10% of all income of this project to the marvelous job of Royal Rangers International. I will try to cover this 10% gap by working as much as I can during the summer holidays and school year (within my visa limitations and as my studies permit).
RewardsI have some fab rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. Check them out on the side of the page.
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Help ME succeed!Giving money is not the only way you can help me with this project. Please share this project with anyone you think would support me – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.
In fact, share it with everyone you know as I think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we together are to make this work out brilliantly.
Thank you in advance to anyone willing to support me. I will be extremely grateful!