Ds Scholarship

North Davidson High student earns 2 US Air Force scholarships that will educate him, allow him to earn pilot’s license


Scholarships will cover the cost of college and to earn his private pilot license

A senior at North Davidson High School has earned two scholarships that will educate him, train him for a military career and get him much closer to flying high.

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Austin Lashmit is the 2022 recipient of the 2022 J-100 Character-in-Learning Scholarship from the Air Force JROTC, and the 2022 United States Air Force Flight Academy Scholarship.

The first scholarship is worth $200,000 and the 18-year-old can use it at any accredited university with an ROTC program. He’ll receive a commission as second lieutenant and give at least four years of service in the US Air Force for receiving the free education. He plans to be an enlisted man much longer, serving at least 20 years, he said.

With the second $22,500 scholarship, Lashmit will be able to earn his private pilot’s license over the summer.

“I wouldn’t say I am afraid of it,” he said. “The nerves are there, but it’s not fear. This is something I have wanted to conquer and excel at for a long time.”

For as long as Lashmit can remember, his life goals have included attending college and serving his country. He’s stayed focused on that end result throughout his high school years.

“I want to be successful enough to help others in need,” he said. “I want to provide for a family and help others.”

Lashmit exudes confidence without cockiness and he is a leader without bullying, said Col. Thomas Painter, one of Lasmit’s two JROTC instructors at North Davidson High. He said the teen is the second-best student out of more than 1,100 students he has taught in the past eight years, so it was easy to write the recommendations he did for Lashmit when he applied for the scholarships.

“What he just said is a core value of the Air Force — service before self,” Painter said. “Many young people are not selfless, but selfish. Not him.”

Lashmit has only been in an airplane as a passenger twice — once his freshman year and the second time, his senior year during a field trip with his JROTC class. He is eager to learn which pilot flight program he will be assigned to this summer to earn his private pilot’s license. There are several programs at universities across the country that offer the program as part of the colleges’ JROTC program.

In the fall, he will begin classes at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he plans to pursue a degree in finances. He is one of only 100 student cadets worldwide selected for the J-100 Character-in-Learning Scholarship.

Painter said the competition for the scholarship began with 900 applicants and ended with about 450 candidates vying for the scholarships. Lashmit is a three-sport athlete at North Davidson High School, participating in soccer, tennis and swimming. He was the captain of the swim team his senior year and the core commander of the JROTC. Since he is not taking the class his last semester at high school, he completes his core commander duties on his own time. In addition, he is a member of the National Honor Society and the Mu Alpha Theta math honor club.

“Austin has always been a very intelligent student,” Painter said. “He has shown a lot of growth. He was quiet and shy as a freshman. He’s come out of his shell to become a leader. He has the ability to make a difference.”

Lashmit said he wants to keep his focus on getting his pilot’s license, finishing college and becoming an Air Force pilot.

“I’ve always had a military service career on my radar,” he said.”It seems like a noble cause — serving your country.”

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– Jill Doss-Raines is The Dispatch trending topics and personality profiles senior reporter and is always looking for tips about businesses and entertainment events, secret and new menu items, and interesting people in Davidson County. Contact me at jill.doss-raines@the-dispatch.com and subscribe to us at the-dispatch.com.

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