The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals is continuing its trend to advance minority hires for career pilots, technicians, and dispatchers by making 37 scholarships available for minority students and professionals pursuing college degrees or science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) training.
The organization cemented relationships with air carriers, businesses, and other aviation professionals to fund scholarships that allow recipients to pursue careers as commercial pilots, maintenance technicians, or flight dispatchers, or to seek other aerospace jobs.
The AOPA You Can Fly Aviation High School Initiative recognizes the importance of bridging the gap in aviation youth education by building and sustaining aviation-based STEM programs in high schools in order to provide a quality workforce to the aviation industry.
One pilot who began his transition to the cockpit as an Atlanta ACE Academy camp volunteer is Delta Air Lines Capt. Marcus Neyor, the 2013 recipient of the organization's Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 Type Rating Scholarship. Neyor said his type rating scholarship allowed him to “demonstrate to Delta that my leadership, flying skills, and overall ability as a pilot were just as strong as my passion to give back to the community.”
The scholarship gave Neyor the tools he needed to interview at his “dream airline” and helped propel him into his role as a captain at Delta.
With an eye toward increasing the number of minority professionals in aviation, the organization has awarded $4.85 million in scholarships to more than 515 recipients since its founding in 1976.