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AOPA Awards 15 Flight Training Scholarships

Launched in 2011, AOPA's scholarship program is designed to help aviation trainees of all ages and from all walks of life realize the dream of flight by earning their pilot certificate.
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The Aircraft Pilots and Owners Association (AOPA) has just revealed the 15 recipients of their 2016 AOPA Flight Training Scholarships. Launched in 2011, AOPA’s scholarship program is designed to help aviation trainees of all ages and from all walks of life realize the dream of flight by earning their pilot certificate. AOPA hopes that by helping to add new pilots to the general aviation community, they are are also creating ambassadors for GA and flight training who will help spread the word and raise awareness on a grassroots level.

Mark Baker, AOPA’s President, had this to say about the recipients “Earning a pilot certificate takes dedication. But those who commit to meeting the challenge are inspired and rewarded with new skills, confidence, and the freedom to fly. AOPA, with the support of our generous donors, is pleased to help these 15 individuals pursue flight training and their dreams of becoming a pilot.

According to AOPA, each scholarship recipient will receive grants ranging from $2,500 to $12,000. In addition, MyGoFlight will be awarding each scholarship recipient a gift certificate good for their products.

List of Recipients of the 2016 AOPA Flight Training Scholarships

  • Gavin Wanless, 18, of Fort Worth, Texas, received the Noe-Singer Flight Training Scholarship, and dreams of becoming a mission pilot.
  • Rebecca Cheek, 36, of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, received the Fred and Diane Fitts Memorial Flight Training Scholarship and wants to become a flight instructor and flight school operator.
  • William Schoeffler, 17, of Santa Rosa, California, received a Sarah Wilson Flight Training Scholarship and is interested in serving his country as part of the Air Force Academy.
  • Yitzchok Finkelstein, 17, of West Hempstead, New York, received also received a Sarah Wilson Flight Training Scholarship and plans to become a flight instructor and airline pilot.
  • Angela Rivera, 26, of Miami, received a Richard R. and Gretchen E. Harper Scholarship and is considering a career in aviation.
  • Charles “Dozer” Reed, 43, of Keithville, Louisiana, also received a Sarah Wilson Flight Training Scholarship and as a wounded veteran himself, hopes to someday be able to fly other wounded veterans to visit their families.
  • Jacqulyn San Miguel, 26, of Camano Island, Washington, also received a Sarah Wilson Flight Training Scholarship and plans on becoming an aerobatic helicopter pilot.
  • Brian Gustin, 53, of Prosser, Washington, also received a Richard R. and Gretchen E. Harper Scholarship and wants to fulfill a dream of flying cross country to visit family and friends, and help provide access to flight training for local high school students.
  • Kristen Dwiggins, 36, of Cary, North Carolina, received an Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Scholarship and plans to use her license to fly to aviation events, while also pursuing commercial pilot credentials.
  • Accrina Grandin, 27, of Wilmington, North Carolina, also received an Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Scholarship plans to earn a license alongside her husband and hopes to use the license to fly relief aid and supplies to remote locations.
  • Damarni Tyrell, 19, of The Bronx, New York, also received an Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Scholarship and plans on exploring with his parents, including flying back to their birthplace of St. Kitts.
  • Nathan Kublank, 35, of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, also received an Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Scholarship and plans on taking his family flying, including his injured brother who never lost a passion for aviation in spite of the injury.
  • Fanghuang Tu, 44, of Amherst, New York, also received an Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Scholarship and is pursuing a dream of becoming a pilot.
  • Jessica Andry, 28, of Seattle, received the Gina Santori Flight Training Scholarship and plans on pursuing a career in aviation.
  • Kaitlin Fugate, 22, of Jacksonville, North Carolina, received the Richard Santori Memorial Scholarship and also has her sights set on becoming a career aviator.

For more information on and photos of the winners, you can visit AOPA’s website. And for more information on the AOPA Flight Training Scholarships themselves, click here.

Featured Image: Ravas 51

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