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AOPA awards more than $1 million in scholarships

More than 120 high school students and teachers, primary student pilots, and pilots working toward advanced certificates and ratings have been awarded scholarships totaling more than $1.1 million through the AOPA Foundation thanks to generous donations from the Ray Foundation and the pilot community.

Scholarships funded by the Ray Foundation went to 80 high school students and 20 high school aviation teachers, who will each receive $10,000 for training toward the private pilot certificate. Generous donations to the AOPA Foundation from the pilot community funded an additional 17 primary flight training scholarships and seven advanced rating scholarships of varying amounts.

“These scholarships are all about helping people reach their dreams,” said AOPA Foundation Executive Director Melissa Rudinger. “The aviation community knows the immense value of learning to fly and has generously helped fund scholarships for 124 students, teachers, and pilots to help them experience the same sense of joy and accomplishment.”

The scholarships, which are available exclusively to AOPA members, are part of the AOPA You Can Fly program, a collection of initiatives to build a larger, more vibrant pilot community.

High school students and teachers can use the funds for the private, sport, or recreational pilot certificate, and recipients must either solo or earn their certificate within one year of getting the scholarship.

The primary flight training scholarships were open to members at least 16 years of age and range from $2,500 to $7,500 for training toward the private, sport, or recreational pilot certificate. Advanced rating scholarships range from $3,000 to $10,000 and can be applied toward the instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, certificated flight instructor and instrument instructor certificates, and multiengine instructor certificate.

“We not only want to help people get started with their primary training but also continue their training for more advanced certificates and ratings to promote safety and careers in aviation,” Rudinger said.

“Congratulations to all of our deserving scholarship winners!”

AOPA High School Scholarship winners

Aiden McDonnell Alexander Roller Alexander Scardigno Anastasia Rogachevsky Annika Petras
Austin Lane Autumn Rhodes Autumn Smith Bailey Wells Benjamin Epperly
Brandon Cianfaglione Brandon Vance Bronson Housmans Bryan Erdy Cameron Gibson
Caroline Davis Carter Long Charles Stembler Chattada Viriyaphap Christine Curry
Colton Woodruff Connor Shapiro Dev Patel


Dillon Muth Dylan Kooima Dylan Park Elizabeth Witte Emma Lobash
Ethan Everhart Ethan Peterson Evan Iverson Grace Eger Grace Kahon
Graham Shunk Guillermo Espanola Jr. Isaiah Gershon Jackson Allen Jacob Fordyce
James Adkins James Leonard John Hoecher Joshua Brown Kareena Sandhu
Katelyn Villa Katelyn Watson Kevin Sanders Kyler Brazukas Landon Arnett
Levi Hipple Madeline Barnes Mark Sedlak

Maxwell Coletta Mehul Dhillon Michael Hammer Michael Kemper Nathanael Cartwright
Nicholas Savage Noah McFarlane Owen Colombo Rachel Rosenzweig Riley Marsh
Rockwell Tobler Roman Thomas Rory Schultz Ryan Plaskoff

Ryan Wozniak Sage Nelson Sam Schaeffer Samuel Maxwell Samuel Savitt
Selma Mujezinovic Seth Baham Taryn Olson Tristan Dawson Tyler Highfield
Umar Badami Weston Barringer Zachary Buddelmeyer Zachary Brown Zachary Stevenson

AOPA Teacher scholarship winners

Aaron Cook Daniel Lewandowski Donald Williams Derek Rowe Brandon Blair
Armin Jahr Erik Haggard Kerry Breinlinger Michael Barker Eric Filardi
Danny Acord Joseph Konopinski Kevin Conant Kristopher McNeil Shannon Murphy
Stephen Rogers Jerome Frederick Jr. Eugene Poole Philip Vanover Todd Remenaric

AOPA Primary Flight Training Scholarship winners

Katherine Reynosa Daniel Jordan Kaitlyn Doherty Matias Martinez-Ekkel Chloe' Litteral
Michael Pacaha Alex Lahasky Shane Miller Grant Beaty Madison Seymour
Laura Burckhardt Sebastian Conklin Jeremy Thomerson Derrill Gifford Rachel Meitler
Brendan Russell Mason Nunamaker

AOPA Advanced Rating Scholarship winners

Mary Ross Carolyn Hunker Russell Newman Jason Coombs
Ethan Beswick Stephanie Baynes William Barker

The You Can Fly program, including various scholarship programs, and the Air Safety Institute, are funded by charitable donations to the AOPA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. To be a part of the solution, visit

Alyssa J. Miller

Alyssa J. Cobb

AOPA Senior Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor
AOPA Senior Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor Alyssa J. Cobb began working at AOPA in 2004, is a flight instructor, and loves flying her Cessna 170B with her husband and son. Alyssa is also co-host of AOPA Live This Week.
Topics: You Can Fly, AOPA, AOPA Foundation

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