Sheltair, Avfuel Award $30K in Scholarships

Six promising learners have been selected for the Sheltair and Avfuel: Future Takes Flight Scholarships. As they embark on unique journeys in the aviation industry, these scholarships will empower their dreams and contribute to the future of aviation.

Joel Mink is one of the recipients of this year’s scholarships. [Courtesy Sheltair, Avfuel]

Sheltair and Avfuel, prominent players in the aviation industry, have announced the six recipients of their second annual Future Takes Flight Scholarships. Each recipient will receive $5,000 to advance their education and careers in business aviation.

This year's scholarship class includes dedicated individuals from various regions, each pursuing different aspects of the aviation field—Lei Huot, Joel Mink, Justin Hernandez, Katrina Kienitz, Bailey Pollard, and Kyle Keyser. The scholarships are intended to support areas of aviation education such as primary training or obtaining advanced pilot ratings, aviation technician training, or continuing education.

The recipients also bring diverse aspirations to the aviation field. Pollard, for example, aims to inspire the next generation of women in aviation by obtaining her instrument rating and commercial certificate. 

“It is truly an honor to be awarded the Sheltair and Avfuel: Future Takes Flight Scholarship,” said Pollard in a press release. “Receiving this scholarship will allow me to continue and complete my instrument rating after putting it on hold for a few years …This opportunity is putting me one step closer to having my dream become a reality.”

Keyser is pursuing a career in aerial firefighting, with a strong desire to support those working on the ground. Huot is pursuing a degree in aviation maintenance science and seeks to work on jet aircraft, potentially maintaining military aircraft, as her grandfather did. Mink's passion for aviation has driven him to earn FAA airframe and powerplant certifications, with the ultimate goal of becoming an aviation maintenance technician. Hernandez's scholarship will support his aviation studies as he aspires to become a professional pilot.

This scholarship program not only provides financial assistance but also encourages and supports individuals to achieve their career goals and make valuable contributions to the aviation industry. With their diverse backgrounds and career aspirations, these recipients represent the future of business aviation.

In its second year, the Sheltair and Avfuel: Future Takes Flight Scholarship program plays a crucial role in helping aspiring aviators pursue their dreams and achieve excellence in their chosen fields. Applicants interested in the next round of scholarships will have the opportunity to apply beginning in December, with a June 1 deadline. The selection process for the 2024 scholarship recipients will involve evaluating essay submissions and giving special consideration to applicants facing financial hardship. The winners of the next scholarship class will be announced at the NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in 2024.

Amy Wilder is managing editor for Plane & Pilot magazine. She fell in love with airplanes at age 8 when her brother-in-law took her up in a Cessna 172. Pretty soon, Amy's bedroom walls were covered with images of vintage airplanes and she was convinced she'd be a bush pilot in Alaska one day. She became a journalist instead, which is also somewhat impractical—but with fewer bears. Now she's working on her private pilot certificate and ready to be a lifelong student of the art of flying.

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