AZ Pilots Association Gives $6,000 in Scholarships
By Andrew Vogeney
As a part of our mission to support sustained GA in Arizona, the Arizona Pilots Association awarded three scholarships during our Annual Meeting. This year we are supporting three deserving high school students with a total of $6,000 toward their aviation educations!
Each of our 2017 Scholarship award winners will have finished their junior year of high school by the time you read this, and plan to re-enroll in EVIT’s aviation program next year. They’ll also be dual-enrolled in Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s aviation program, well on their way to joining our pilot ranks.
Special thanks to scholarship committee members Rick Bosshardt and Jim Timm for going through the tough selection process with me this year. All of our applicants were deserving of our support, and as always it was tough for us to pick just three. But our three high school students who walked away with a “big check” really did deserve it. If you missed the meeting, here are this year’s winners.
Kayla Phillips aspires to be a commercial pilot and work for Southwest Airlines, where her mom has been a flight attendant for over 20 years. She is an active volunteer in her community and served an 18-day mission trip in Africa. When thinking about flying in a small plane with a family friend, Kayla said “The moment that little, 2-seater, orange and white plane was off the runway, I knew that this is how I wanted to live my life - with my office in the sky. There's just something about being a few thousand feet above the world to help you see clearly and from a new perspective.”
Avree Anderson also has ties to Southwest, where both of his parents are flight attendants. He’s learned through sports and volunteer work that hard work pays off, and hopes to bring his work ethic and perseverance to the airlines. In addition to working as a commercial pilot, Avree hopes to own his own plane and take advantage of the Arizona backcountry. When asked about his goals, Avree shared “The feeling of lifting off the ground in an airplane is one that will never get old for me. With the long term view in mind, my goal is to work as an airline pilot for Southwest like my parents, and own my own small airplane as well.”
Josiah Plant has been interested in aviation for as long has he can remember, and hopes to become a flight instructor so he can inspire others as well. He builds and flies RC planes, volunteers on weekends helping build EVIT’s Sonex aircraft, and has already completed college courses in aviation. When we asked why Josiah was interested in aviation, he shared what we probably all think every day: “Soaring through the clouds, being able to fly in wide open space is amazing, just the thought of flying through the sky thrills me. Aviation in all aspects, weather, mechanics, history, different careers, etc. is a field in which I aspire to learn and become more skilled.”
All three award winners came highly recommended, and it was an honor to introduce them to our amazing community of Arizona pilots. I can’t wait to meet another group of deserving kids next year, and it’s my hope that we can do more and more for our next generation of pilots.
If you have a moment and are so inclined, consider visiting the AZ Pilots Website and making a donation toward our scholarship program. If we each make even a small donation, we can award a fourth scholarship next year… and maybe a fifth the year after that! Heck, you’re probably reading this article in triple digit heat, wishing summer wasn’t here already. If you’re leaving the plane hangered or tied down this weekend, consider donating whatever that $200 hamburger would have cost you had you gone up this weekend. And maybe again in July or August! Your donation goes a long way for these kids, and helps ensure the sky will be filled with the “tiny planes” for years to come.