~ Scholarship Corner ~
By Chris Nugent
In this month’s Scholarship Corner article, we will continue to provide some more information on our 2022 scholarship recipients. I believe it’s important that you hear from them directly, so I have asked each of them to provide a brief overview of themselves and their aviation career goals in their own words.
Blake Tusynski – Chandler-Gilbert Community College/University of North Dakota
Hello everyone, my name is Blake Tuszynski, and I am currently 18 years old starting on my private license. I first fell in love with aviation when I was invited to tag along when my brother became Pilot-for-a-Day at Luke Air Force Base. My brother, who is epileptic, will unfortunately never become a pilot, but he is a great inspiration to me! I currently attend the East Valley Institute of Technology’s aviation program and will train with the University of North Dakota / Chandler-Gilbert Community College flight program. To say I am excited would be an understatement! Next year I hope to attend Arizona State and major in Professional Flight to get on with Delta through their Propel program. My end goal is to spread my passion for aviation and share my knowledge with future aviators. I am grateful for the Arizona Pilots Association for trusting in me, as I expect to train on a consistent basis and get my license before June. Thank you!
Blake did an excellent job coordinating an EVIT volunteer workday at Grapevine last November. It was a great day, and we made a lot of progress!
Michelle Imondi – Chandler-Gilbert Community College/University of North Dakota
Thank you for this amazing opportunity! Having this scholarship will allow me to further advance in my goals and skills required to becoming a professional pilot. From the age of seven, it has been a goal of mine to become an airline pilot. With ceaseless obstacles and events such as Covid-19 and more; in the last few years, I have achieved ratings and licenses such as Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial (Single and Multi-Engine). With this wonderful opportunity, this will allow me to obtain my Certified Flight Instructor certificate through CGCC-UND PHX. This will permit me to teach and help students achieve their goals and aspirations in becoming a successful aviator. Aside from teaching, I plan to devote my time to organizations such as Women in Aviation (PHX Chapter) and APA. This will include both virtual and in person meetings, scheduled events and volunteer opportunities. Being involved in each of these outreach organizations that promote aviation to fellow students and youth is a wonderful and exciting opportunity to be a part of. Again, I want to give a tremendous amount of gratitude to all donors who made this scholarship possible.
Justin O’Reilly – University of North Dakota
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to receive the scholarship from the Arizona Pilot’s Association. As I finish the current CFI course here at UND I’m looking forward to using the scholarship funds to assist in paying for the CFI-I course at UND this spring. Once I complete CFI-I I look forward to instructing and introducing new coming pilots to the wonderful world of Aviation. I will also be looking forward to returning to the Civil Air Patrol, Willie squadron and use these new certificates and ratings to assist the air crew and cadets where needed. Moving into the future I will be working towards an airline career starting at the regionals, and then onto a main line carrier. My goal is to fly wide body aircraft on international flights. I do plan to always stay involved in general aviation and continue to fly the beautiful skies of Arizona!
More to come next month and thank you again for your support in helping APA build the next generation of Arizona aviation professionals.