~  Scholarship Corner  ~


By Chris Nugent

As I mentioned in last month’s Scholarship Corner, we had a record response to the call for 2021 scholarship applications and the APA membership stepped up as well with record donations to the program. I’m very proud of the work that we do as an association with the scholarship program and it’s always great to be able to introduce the recipients to you through the newsletter.

As we go through the next few months, I will provide you a little more detail on each of our eight 2021 scholarship award winners. I’m continually impressed by their hard work and commitment to following a career path in aviation – I think you will be as well.


scholarship corner mattie mitchell

Mattie Mitchell – Embry-Riddle Prescott

My name is Mattie, and I am currently a Junior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott. I am currently finishing my Commercial license and will be starting CFI training soon! Upon graduation, I will be flight instructing for Embry-Riddle while getting my multi-engine rating. I would love to fly with SkyWest, and then hopefully be hired at United Airlines. This scholarship from APA means the world to me, and I am so appreciative to the APA members who donated to the fund. I would also like to thank the APA Board of Directors for continuing to support the scholarship initiative. It's the support from people like you that allows students like me to reach their goals through continued education. I will be putting the funds towards tuition and my CFI rating, and I am so excited for this next chapter in my aviation career! Thank you again, and tailwinds!

As a side note, Mattie is President of the Granite Mountain Ninety-Nines, and Vice President of the Women in Aviation ERAU Chapter.


scholarship corner tristan smith

Tristan Smith – Arizona State University

I am currently a Sophomore at Arizona State University and have an overwhelming passion for aviation. I am a member of Air Force ROTC Detachment 025 “The Flying Devils” here at ASU and am currently competing for a pilot slot. I hope to fly the infamous A-10 in the Air Force and contribute to its ultimate mission of supporting the troops on the ground. The APA’s gracious scholarship will allow me to be best prepared for the rigorous military pilot training ahead. I am now able to obtain hours toward my PPL and instrument ratings. The scholarship alleviates much of the financial stress of such an expensive undertaking, and there is no doubt that this scholarship will help make it my career. The Arizona Pilot’s Association’s generous donors are making it possible for myself and many others alike to achieve our aviation-related goals, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.


Alyssa Bodwin – Chandler-Gilbert Community College/University of North Dakota

Ever since I was a little girl, aviation has been fascinating to me. My mom is a flight attendant, and my dad is a Private Pilot and was a mechanic in the Air Force. Aviation is in my family. While traveling with my mom when I was 14 years old, she introduced me to a female captain with American Airlines. When it occurred to me that I could be the one in the cockpit, my heart was set. This is when it hit me that I too could be an airline pilot someday. 

This past year I obtained my Private Pilot Certificate through the Aviation Explorers Post 352 at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona. I then started my instrument training through the University of North Dakota at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, receiving my Instrument Rating on January 3, 2022. This coming semester I will be starting my commercial training, and the generosity of this scholarship will help greatly in achieving my Commercial Certificate.

I want to love what I do for a living, and flying is what I love. The more I have become involved in aviation, the more I have realized this is so much more to me than just a job. I plan to fly for a major airline someday, but I always want to fly for fun and give back to future aviators as so many of my mentors have done for me. 

scholarship corner alyssa bodwin


More to come next month and thank you again for your support in helping APA build the next generation of Arizona aviation professionals!

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