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ChapterGram: January 2013

VAA Chapter 29 Awards Three Flight Training Scholarships


VAA Chapter 29
From left to right: Chapter President Gary Oberti, Michael Mainiero, Katie Smith, Amanda Feriante, and Young Eagles Coordinator Pat Polehla.

By Harry Shin,
Vice President, VAA Chapter 29

Vintage Aircraft Association Chapter 29 located in Hayward, California, has flown more than 2,370 Young Eagles. While we recognize the value of introducing young people to aviation, in 2010 we decided to offer a flight training scholarship to complement our successful Young Eagles program.

The scholarship provides $3,000 to be used toward flight training (aircraft rental and instructor) during the following calendar year, with the objective of getting the student pilot through the first solo flight. The selection criteria for the scholarship requires the applicants to reside within 50 miles of Hayward Executive Airport (HWD), to be within an age range of 15 1/2 to 21 years old, and to participate in the VAA Chapter 29 Young Eagles program.

In 2011, Dylan Murphy was awarded the first VAA Chapter 29 scholarship. Dylan was an active participant in our Young Eagles program, first as a passenger on several Young Eagles flights, then as a ground crew volunteer. He also was selected to represent VAA Chapter 29 at that year's EAA Air Academy in Oshkosh. Dylan was successful in achieving his first solo flight in September 2012 at California Airways, and is continuing his training toward his private pilot certificate.

For 2012, the VAA Chapter 29 scholarship program had three applicants: Amanda Feriante, Katie Smith, and Michael Mainiero. The scholarship review committee was faced with the difficult task of selecting one successful candidate from three clearly exceptional young people. All three do very well in their studies, have great references, are very active in the VAA Chapter 29 activities (including Young Eagles), and have supportive families. And they all love to fly!

Following the October 2012 VAA Chapter 29 board of directors meeting where the three applicants were discussed, Chapter President Gary Oberti made the suggestion to the board of directors to award three aviation scholarships for 2013, and unanimous approval was quickly given. The response to this decision has been overwhelmingly positive from all VAA Chapter 29 members following the general announcement of the winners in November 2012. Scholarship funding has been largely by special donations, supplemented by other VAA Chapter 29 fundraising sales/activities.

The members of VAA Chapter 29 are very proud of our aviation scholarship winners and are certain of the dividends they will return; we support the objective of the EAA Young Eagles program and recognize the importance of providing opportunities directed toward the future of aviation.

Additional information about VAA Chapter 29, including the scholarship program, is available on the chapter's website.

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