By Chris Nugent

 

We had another great turnout for the 2022 scholarship cycle with forty-three applications received. The overall quality of the scholarship applications has always been impressive, and the 2022 submissions were no exception. In past years, the career objectives for the majority of the applicant’s focused on becoming professional aviators. However, we’re starting to see more applications for students who want to pursue careers in aviation maintenance and air traffic control which is encouraging.

As is normally the case, the scholarship committee puts in a lot of effort in the November/December timeframe to review applications and make final award recommendations. In the end analysis we were able to award a total of thirteen scholarships worth $3,000 each – this is up from the eight we have awarded in recent years. The additional scholarship awards made possible by the recent donation from Operation Freedom Bird and the generosity of the APA membership. The scholarships are an important part of APA’s mission and it’s very encouraging to see the membership’s continued commitment to the program – thank you!

Here’s a quick overview of the 2022 scholarship winners – we will be publishing a more in-depth look at each of them in upcoming editions of the newsletter:

  • Xitlali Vazquez – Xitlali is currently a senior at Greenway High School and is working towards securing an appointment to the US Air Force Academy. She has been active in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JRTOC) and was awarded a scholarship to the Aim High Flight Academy funded by the US Air Force and Navy. This allowed her to complete her initial flight training through solo and the APA scholarship will allow her to complete her PPL.
  • Lynn Burnett – Lynn is currently attending the Chandler-Gilbert Community College/University of North Dakota (CGCC/UND) flight training program with a goal of becoming a professional CFI. Lynn is an Army veteran and former Airborne Ranger.
  • Cintia Cantor Navas – Cintia is also attending the CGCC/UND flight training program with the objective of becoming a professional pilot. She is US Marine Corp veteran and former air traffic controller.
  • Evan Erickson – Evan is attending Arizona State University (ASU) majoring in Air Traffic Management with the objective of becoming an air traffic controller in the US Air Force.
  • Richard Browning – Richard is currently attending the aviation program at the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) and is looking to pursue a pilot slot in the US military. Richard will use the APA scholarship to complete his PPL.
  • Aevyn Peirce – Aevyn is currently attending West-MEC Technical Institute and is pursuing her certificate in Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT).
  • Jeremy Lee – Jeremy is attending the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at CGCC to earn his Airframe & Powerplant certification.
  • Aneka Raaman – Aneka is currently attending ASU and will transition to the United Aviate Academy to complete her professional pilot certifications. Aneka is an alumnus of Aviation Explorer Post 352 at Falcon Field.
  • Nick Vatis – Nick is an EVIT alumnus and is attending the CGCC/UND flight training program. Nick’s career objective is to become a professional pilot for the airlines.
  • Tavian Schnack – Tavian is currently attending EVIT and will transition to the flight training program at CGCC/UND. His career objective is to become a professional pilot for the US Forest Service (USFS).
  • Jeffre Antoff – Jeffre is attending the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at CGCC to earn his Airframe & Powerplant certification.
  • Benjamin O’Hara-Haworth – Benjamin is currently attending Westwood High School and is receiving flight training at Aviation Explorer Post 352. He also wants to become a professional pilot for the USFS. As a side note, Benjamin comes from an aviation family and his brother received an APA scholarship in 2020 (pictured below).
  • Jason Oetken – Jason is attending the CGCC/UND flight training program. Jason’s career objective is to become a professional pilot for the airlines.

apa scholarship corner january 2023 tim ohara haworth shows off his brand new ppl in 2020

The aviation industry has continued to rebound from the pandemic, and this is reflected in the number of applications that APA receives for the scholarship program. And it is encouraging to see the drive and commitment of the applicants in pursuing aviation careers. 

Thank you again for your commitment to helping APA fulfill a key part of our mission.

Stay healthy and fly safe.

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