The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has named three winners for $5,000 flight training scholarships, which were presented today at the 38th annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo.
The AOPA Flight Training Scholarship, the Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Scholarship and the Jeppesen Flight Training Scholarship were created to help student pilots succeed in flight training and ease the financial burden. Scholarship recipients were chosen on merit, ability to set goals, and a demonstrated commitment to flight training. AOPA began offering the scholarships in 2011 as part of its Flight Training Student Retention Initiative, designed to improve the flight training experience and help more student pilots succeed in earning a pilot certificate.
This year’s recipients of flight training scholarships are: Tyler Allen (AOPA Flight Training Scholarship); Glen Wenzel (Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Scholarship); and Stacey Shrewsbury (Jeppesen Flight Training Scholarship).
Tyler is a 16-year-old high school junior who lives on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. He took his first flight in October 2009, and has logged more than 20 hours. He wants to bring his knowledge of general aviation to his home town of Window Rock on the Navajo reservation in Arizona and wants to be the first Navajo pilot. His ultimate goal is to open a flight school in Window Rock to help others in his community share in the joy of aviation.
Glen is a career firefighter in Winston-Salem, N.C. He always loved aviation, but decided to focus on firefighting. He is the son of a pilot who inherited his dad’s Cessna 150 after his father died in a helicopter accident three years ago. The original plan was that Glen’s father would teach him how to fly on the 150. After spending time restoring the aircraft, he wants to use the scholarship to keep aviation in his family and combine it with firefighting.
Stacey began her love for aviation in 2003, when she was hired as assistant flight director at the Challenger Learning Center in central Illinois. In that job, she was required to learn about the operations of the learning center, aviation, space travel and rockets. After reading and talking to pilots, she enrolled in ground school last fall and passed the FAA Knowledge Test. She took her first flight in December 2011. Stacey wants to help inspire students, letting them know that if they set their mind to it, they can accomplish anything.
“We were very impressed with this year’s crop of scholarship applicants. It was extremely difficult to narrow down our selections to these three deserving recipients,” said Brittney Miculka, Manager of Prospective Pilot and Youth Outreach. “These scholarships are part of AOPA’s ongoing commitment to grow the pilot population, and we feel these recipients will help us do that and serve as top-notch ambassadors for general aviation.”
Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA) and Jeppesen – two of the world’s leading providers of flight training materials — have each committed to supporting additional flight training scholarships that will be awarded in October at the AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs. We will begin accepting applications for these scholarships early this summer. Previous applicants are encouraged to update their application and submit again.