~ Scholarship Corner ~
By Chris Nugent
September shaped up to be a busy month for the Scholarship Committee with several information sessions scheduled to ensure that aviation career-oriented students were aware of the APA scholarship program. Unlike last year, we were able to conduct most of these sessions in person and it was great to be able to talk to the students directly about APA and our program.
We have always had strong interest from the students attending the aviation program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) and University of North Dakota (UND). We held information sessions for the Private, Aerodynamics, Instrument, Multi-Engine and CFI classes and it was very encouraging to see that the classes were full. It was also encouraging to see some of our scholarship recipients progressing through their training program and well on the way to fulfilling their aviation career goals. I was happy to see Sage Nelson, an APA 2020 scholarship recipient, during the presentation to the UND Multi-Engine students.
We also spent some time with the aviation students at the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) who are always very engaged and happy to hear about the APA program (Sage Nelson is an EVIT alumni). I’m sure we’ll see a strong application turnout from EVIT as always!
A visit to Aviation Explorers Post 352 at Falcon Field wrapped up our schedule for APA scholarship information sessions. For those of you that are not familiar with the Aviation Explorers Post, they are a volunteer organization that provides young people with practical opportunities to explore aviation for fun and as a potential career. Check them out at aviationexplorerpost352.com if you’d like to learn more. I had the opportunity to sit in on their ground school class prior to the APA presentation and it was well done and there was no doubt that they were giving their students the tools they need to become safe and proficient aviators.
On a side note, on the day I visited the Aviation Explorers Post the Women in Aviation organization was hosting a “Girls in Aviation Event” in the Wings of Flight hangar where the Aviation Explorers meet. It was great to see all the young ladies and aviation organizations speaking to them about careers in aviation and aerospace. One of their special guests also took some time to speak to the Aviation Explorer Post students just prior to the APA presentation. You may be familiar with Jessica Cox, the worlds first licensed armless pilot. Jessica earned her Sport Pilot certificate in 2008 in a 2-axis control Ercoupe 415-C (no rudder pedals). She shared her perspective on meeting life’s challenges with the student’s and urged them to stick with their plans for an aviation career. It was certainly thought provoking, so the next time you are feeling challenged with your flying, remember Jessica and her unique accomplishments.
In closing, I’d thank all of you for your generous support of the APA Scholarship Program. We were able to fully fund the program through donations in 2021 and I’m confident we can do the same in 2022. It’s an important part of APA’s mission to ensure we support the next generation of Arizona aviation professionals.
Stay healthy and fly safe.