With innovative technology, safety, sustainably, interactive experiences as highlights of this year’s NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas, one of the more prominent focus areas centered on diversity and inclusion, and a future workforce. We need both a talented and diverse future pipeline of aviation professionals to meet industry demands.
Matching this excitement, energy and need, on Wednesday, October 23, the founder and president of California-based I Hart Flying Foundation, Rachelle Spector, announced winners from the organizations ‘Ignite the Magic for Flight’ themed scholarship effort. “We initially planned to award two scholarships yet extended an additional $1,000 to a third recipient during our announcement at NBAA-BACE. Helping women thrive, learn, grow and stay motivated is why we exist,” shared Spector. “We are proud of the fall 2019 recipients, and continue stronger into 2020 with even more themed, engaging opportunities to assist women on their flight paths.”
A senior instrument-rated private pilot at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Nicole Lund received the $5,000 advanced flight rating scholarship, and was able to accept this award at the show. “It was my first time attending NBAA-BACE and extremely special to find out, in person, I was receiving this scholarship,” expressed Lund. Lund’s message to the candidates, “Please don’t give up. Conquer your dream, and let’s raise that six percent and get more women in this industry.”
At only 19 years of age working toward her private pilot license, Allyson Trussell earned the $2,500 scholarship. “I was jumping up and down in pure joy when I got the call from Rachelle. I could not believe it and was shocked!” Trussell exclaimed. Trussell entered flight training through California Institute of Technology’s Aero Association. She is not only a student pilot, she’s a woman of STEM, studying geology and planetary sciences. “With this generous scholarship, I will start flying more often and keep working towards inspiring other female pilots by being a positive role model,” she added.
A surprising twist to Spector’s announcement, she was so inspired by all the women’s stories, and NBAA’s efforts focused on diversity and inclusion, she decided to award a third scholarship at $1,000. The recipient, Kristin Gibson, is a flight instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott Campus. “My goal is to become a professional flight instructor, and I’ve faced many financial challenges along the way. With this scholarship support, I will be able to work on my multi-engine instructor rating,” Gibson explained.
I Hart Flying Foundation advances into 2020 joined with several industry partners establishing more than $40,000 in flight training scholarships for women.