~ Scholarship Corner ~
By Chris Nugent
As I mentioned in last month’s update, I reached out to all of our 2019 scholarship winners to see how things are going with their studies and flight training in light of the current state of affairs with the Coronavirus. Ben Alberti is attending Chandler-Gilbert Community College/NDU Aerospace and reports that his flight training is progressing as planned, although masks are required for lessons and ground school classes are being conducted remotely as expected (more on Ben below). Victoria Johnson who is a flight attendant at Southwest has been able to focus more on her flight training based on the slowdown in air travel. While that is a mixed blessing, she views it as a positive, which is good perspective to have these days! Some of the other scholarship winners that are attending smaller flight schools have indicated their training has slowed, but they are still pressing on.
Several of them noted that while they understand that the commercial aviation landscape has certainly changed, they are committed and making progress towards their goals – which is encouraging to hear.
Scholarship Winner: Ben Alberti
Ben is an EVIT alumni currently enrolled at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and is dual enrolled in the University of North Dakota (UND) flight training program. Ben has his sights set on an airline career and is well on his way to completing his commercial and instrument ratings this summer. Ben is a Young Eagle and Copperstate Fly-In volunteer and was awarded a scholarship to attend Oshkosh in 2019. As a matter of fact, Ben’s first general aviation airplane flight was with Rick Bosshardt in his mighty Carbon Cub during a Young Eagles event at Falcon Field.
Ben spent some time with us in the APA booth at the last Copperstate, and I was impressed with his focus on his career goals. He will do well and I am proud of the fact that the APA has helped him get a head start on his aviation career.
Scholarship Winner: Maria Diaz
Maria is also attending Chandler-Gilbert Community College and UND for flight training with the objective of becoming a professional flight instructor and ultimately progressing to a career with the airlines or US Air Force. Maria’s family came to Arizona from Mexico when she was four and she has worked hard to achieve an Associates in Applied Science from Gateway Community College which included an internship in Alaska.
Maria has been an active volunteer in the community and is committed to her career path in aviation. I am glad that APA can be a part of helping her achieve her goals.
We are a few months away from the next scholarship cycle, and I’m hopeful that we will make enough progress on the Coronavirus front to allow things to get back to some degree of normalcy in our colleges and flight training programs.
Stay healthy and as always thank you for your generosity and support for the scholarship program.