AOPA awards two student pilot scholarships at WAI conference

March 21, 2013

scholarship winner Scholarship winner Melanie Rivera was present at the International Women in Aviation conference in Nashville, Tenn., to accept her award.

AOPA and the AOPA Foundation awarded two scholarships each worth $3,000 to student pilots March 16 during the annual International Women in Aviation conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Melanie Leigh Rivera and Angela “Bambi” Shorey were chosen out of 24 applicants to receive the scholarships that will be used toward future flight training. The AOPA awards were made as part of the Women in Aviation International (WAI) Scholarship Program.

Rivera and Shorey were evaluated on merit, including previous accomplishments, their ability to set and achieve goals, involvement in general aviation, and their commitment to flight training. Applicants were also asked to write an essay expressing their views on how GA supports local communities and the nation.

“I’m really looking forward to putting the award toward getting my private pilot and [Advanced Ground Instructor] ratings so I can continue my goal of inspiring youth and others’ interest in general aviation,” said Shorey.

Both applicants are currently involved with general aviation in their communities and plan to use their pilot certificates to increase awareness of general aviation.

"I have read about the many women who have become pilots and admire their contributions to aviation,” said Rivera. “I no longer have to rely solely on reading about the experiences of the pilots before me. I can now contribute to the conversation with my own experience and expertise."

Each year, AOPA awards one scholarship under the WAI Scholarship program. However, with such a talented pool of applicants this year, the scholarship committee felt compelled to make an additional award, which the AOPA Foundation offered to fund.

WAI is a nonprofit organization encouraging women to seek opportunities and careers in aviation. Applications for the 2014 scholarships will be available July 2013 on the WAI website.