~ Scholarship Corner ~
By Chris Nugent
This month’s Scholarship Corner installment will wrap up our look at the 2019 APA Scholarship winners. As I noted last month, many of them are well into their flight training programs, while some are waiting for the fall college semesters to get underway. Regardless, the entire landscape in the aviation and education world has changed dramatically. However, I am confident that all of them remain committed to their aviation career goals and will press on as planned.
Scholarship Winner: Michael Swift
Michael is a graduate of Yuma Catholic High School and recently graduated from Arizona Western University with an Associate in Arts with a certificate in Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Michael’s father is a retired Marine Corps aviator and his objective is to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a flight instructor and professional aviator.
Michael has been an active volunteer in both the civilian and military community in Yuma helping organize charity events. I know that the military life has its own set of challenges (families serve too!) and I am glad that APA can help make sure that Michael achieves his aviation career goals.
Scholarship Winner: Tristan Sorensen
Tristan recently graduated from EVIT and is enrolled in the Airframe & Power Plant Technology program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Tristan’s goal is to become a licensed Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) mechanic and ultimately a licensed pilot as well. I know that many of our scholarships are provided for students to receive flight training, but I am encouraged that we can help in the aviation maintenance career field as well. I know that I rely very heavily on my A&P professional to keep my airplane safe and airworthy. We would all be “ground pounders” without their commitment and support.
Tristan volunteered his time to help build the EVIT Sonex project and at Skykids events which allow disabled or special needs children to enjoy experiences in and around aviation – a very worthy cause.
We are still a few months away from our next scholarship cycle, but an important part of the Scholarship Committee’s charter is related to outreach and communication with the schools and students to ensure they are aware of what APA does and the scholarship program. We typically start our communication campaign in the August/September timeframe with onsite visits to the schools. With social distancing now the norm, I expect we will be using Zoom, Skype, or another video conferencing platform for some of these sessions. While this may sound like a challenge, I’m excited about the opportunity it creates for reaching the broader group of students that are interested in becoming involved in aviation.
We will keep you posted on our progress. In the meantime, stay healthy, and as always, thank you for your generosity and support for the scholarship program.