The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced Ericka Hardin as the recipient of its 2019 Edward W. Stimpson Aviation Excellence Award. The $2,000 scholarship is awarded to a graduating U.S. high school senior who has been accepted to and will be enrolled in an aviation degree core program at his or her chosen college/university.
Hardin is enrolled to attend Moody Aviation Technology in Spokane, Washington, in the fall of 2019. She plans to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Missionary Aviation Technology – Flight.
“We are excited to support Ms. Hardin as she begins her studies this fall and seeks to fulfill her general aviation career dream of being a missionary pilot,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce.
Hardin is an active member of the Civil Air Patrol and through her involvement has earned numerous awards and honors, including the Mary Feik Achievement, the Wright Brothers Award and the Lindbergh Achievement.
In her response to the essay question about why she wants to pursue a career in general aviation, Hardin wrote:
“Growing up in a rural ranching community I have learned to understand the importance of simple things like knowing and relying on your neighbors, and how connections with bigger communities are vital – not only for basic supplies – but also for medical services, news, education and life. In our world today there are still people out there who don’t have those connections or access to the basic services that we do. I have a heart for these people, and I want to use my skills and desire to be a pilot to do my part in giving them the same opportunities that we have. I am confident that my whole upbringing has given me a strong foundation to thrive as a pilot serving in remote areas.”