~ Scholarship Corner ~
By Chris Nugent
We closed the 2021 APA scholarship cycle at the end of October, and we set another record for the program with forty applications being submitted. This is up significantly from the twenty-nine we received in 2020 and 24 in 2019. Although we have not started our formal review process, I always look through the applications and I continue to be impressed with the strong commitment to aviation careers by both high school and college students in Arizona. Based on all the turmoil we currently see in the industry its great to see that we have a strong pipeline of future aviation professionals!
As I mentioned in a previous scholarship update, we broadened our scholarship outreach and communication activities to ensure that students enrolled in aviation-related programs across the state were aware the APA program was available as a resource. I was pleased to see that we had some success and received applications from students enrolled in Cochise College in Douglas and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, two schools that have not been represented in past years. There was also strong interest from our traditional partner schools including the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) and the aviation program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College/University of North Dakota.
Many of the applicants are focused on becoming professional aviators (airline or military pilots) but there were also applicants focused on careers as CFI’s, air traffic controllers and aviation/airport operations managers. However, I must admit that I was most impressed with one applicant who had the long-term career objective of becoming an astronaut. I am looking forward to the day that the APA flag goes to the moon and beyond!
The scholarship committee will be working to complete the evaluation of applications over the next few weeks with the winners announced in December. Our objective is to award 6 to 8 scholarships for the 2022 academic year (we awarded eight, $2,500 scholarships in 2021, for a total of $20,000 awarded!). We will provide an update in next month’s newsletter.
The scholarship program is an important part of APA’s mission, and it would not be possible without the generous donations of our membership. As we typically are at this point in the year, we are still far behind in funding the upcoming scholarship awards. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the scholarship program as we close out the calendar and tax-year. I can tell you that the recipients are truly appreciative of the help in achieving their aviation career goals.
Thank you again for supporting the scholarship program and helping APA build the next generation of Arizona aviators (and future astronauts).
Stay healthy and fly safe.