~ Scholarship Corner ~
Scholarship Winner: Matthew Tlapanco
By Andrew Vogeney
Hopefully you had a chance to attend our Annual Meeting, a favorite time of year when Arizona aviators gather to share stories and hear what’s new. We love to highlight the work being done to promote general aviation in Arizona, and none of that work would be possible without our members’ generosity. Whether you’re investing sweat equity into some of the airstrips we care for, calling your elected representatives to ask their support in our ongoing efforts, or sparing a few dollars to support one of our many causes – we can only do what we do because of you.
As you know, one of the most important things we do is support some great young kids – aspiring aviators, mechanics, air traffic controllers… anyone who will keep the planes in the air for decades to come. This year we awarded six scholarships – a record! If you weren’t at the meeting to meet these kids, take a look at the past few newsletters as each introduces a recipient of the Arizona Pilots Association scholarship.
And today we introduce Matthew Tlapanco.
“I first discovered aviation was in 2018, during my junior of high school. I enrolled into an aviation program at the East Valley Institute of Technology and loved every second of it! The first time I experienced the wheels coming off the runway I was blown away! Nothing compares to the liberating feeling you achieve once you are soaring a few thousand feet in the sky. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. Fast forward to the present and my senior year is now coming to a close. With graduation right around the corner, I can't even express how excited I am to graduate and begin my flight training this fall! I just hope many more kids can experience these Young Eagle flights to help them discover if they share the same passion for flying as I have.”
Matthew is at the controls in the photo you see, and that’s where he belongs! Thanks to your help, six young kids are enjoying the freedom of flight. How many can we send skyward next year? You can donate 24/7 to ensure we send as many as possible. Big or small, your generosity makes this program possible – and we thank you!