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Virginia aviation career expo scholarships top $388KVirginia aviation career expo scholarships top $388K

Guest speakers, aerial demonstrations highlight Leesburg eventGuest speakers, aerial demonstrations highlight Leesburg event

Editor's note: This article was updated Oct. 9 with additional scholarship information.

More than $388,000 in scholarships await 700 students when they join their parents, aviation professionals, and educators for the thirteenth annual Aviation Education and Career Expo at Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia Oct. 26.

Students sit inside a business jet during the annual Aviation Education and Career Expo at Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia. Photo courtesy of Alimond Photography, PropJet Aviation.

ProJet Aviation, a Washington, D.C., area fixed-base operator that prides itself as “the D.C. metro region’s premier private aviation company,” organized the free event. The FBO and its partners have delivered more than $150,000 in scholarships since 2008.

“This money can change a student’s life,” said organizer Julie O’Brien. “We provide opportunity and mentorship to students that may have never explored all of these possibilities.” This year a multitude of aviation organizations have pledged hundreds of thousands of dollars in awards for education or flight training.

The event showcases aviation and aerospace careers to young adults ages 16 to 22 as they make plans for their future. Representatives from more than 60 aviation groups will participate in keynote presentations, live demonstrations, and static displays. Students can talk one-on-one with industry experts and get “up close and personal” looks at aviation occupations that are in demand worldwide, O’Brien added.

Students learn about drones during the annual Aviation Education and Career Expo at Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia. Photo courtesy of Alimond Photography, PropJet Aviation.

Guest speakers include the NTSB’s Heidi Kemner, a local pilot who specializes in aviation investigations, and former U.S. Navy SEAL, author, flight instructor, aerial applicator, and retired assault helicopter pilot Michael Rutledge. Aviation entrepreneur Jamail Larkins, U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot Lt. Meagan Varley Flannigan, and other mentors have addressed students and their parents at previous aviation career day expos.

Attendees can also see demonstrations by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team, the Metro Washington Airport Authority’s K–9 team, drone flying by the V1 Aviation, and an aerial application flyby from the National Agricultural Aviation Association’s Jeff Corman and Sons.

O’Brien said expo organizers were “committed" to helping students explore aviation career opportunities.

Scholarships totaling more than $200,000 await students during the twelfth annual Aviation Education and Career Expo at Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia. Photo courtesy of Alimond Photography, PropJet Aviation.
David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Public Benefit Flying, Youth

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