VOTE ON YOUR FAVORITE & share their stories!
It’s almost time to giveaway the $4,000 flyGIRL/Sporty’s flight training scholarship! We had 315 applicants and have narrowed it down to 6! Each of their stories is inspiring and we want to share them with you! You may comment on your favorite or offer any insight!
MEET TAYO LADEINDE
I never dreamed of being a pilot when I was a little girl. By age 8 or 9, I went from wanting to be a figure skater to wanting to be an astronaut like Mae Jamison. She was the first woman I saw in that position who looked like me. However, that wanting only lasted until I realized just how far away space was. I figured that designing airplanes would be the closest to outer space I would want to get. This desire was enhanced by going to air shows at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio with my dad. He is a professor of mechanical engineering at SUNY Stony Brook and spent many summers as a researcher at the base when I was growing up. I remember thinking of how insane it was that something so large and heavy could move so incredibly fast.
So here I was, a teen growing up in the 90s, with a blowup F-16 Thunderbird hanging over my bed, but being in the cockpit was never in my realm of possibility. I went on to study aerospace engineering in college and earned my master’s in aerospace with a concentration in aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics. Four years after a graduate research study on a rocket nozzle and two years after interning at NASA Langley Research Center, I found myself in the northern Minnesota city of Duluth. Duluth is pretty little gem on Lake Superior and home to Cirrus Aircraft, one of the world’s premier manufacturers of luxury, high performance single-engine aircraft. As a company built by brothers who loved aviation, there was a culture promoting general aviation. I started lessons almost as soon as I started working at Cirrus because, hey – why not? It was inexpensive and probably a great way to get to see the Lake. It wasn’t until after my first flying lesson that I even considered the “dream” of being a pilot.
Now, I am looking to wrap up the final hours of instrument flight training. My flight training was put on pause when I left Duluth because I was focusing on excelling at my new job. It continued on pause when I learned I needed surgery on my uterus for a condition more common to black women. It remained on pause when the pandemic rocked the world. After the sudden passing of close friend, I decided it was time for me to reconnect with my love for flying and aviation, and also look at how I can share that with others.
My path to where I am now has not been common for a black woman. I would have loved to have role models as a young girl, a teenager, or a young adult. I didn’t see any and I wasn’t pointed to any by my circle, so I looked inward and chose to do what I found to be enjoyable rather than what was expected of me by society. Through Women in Aviation International, I have found I can be to others what I never saw as I was growing up: a role model. In 2018, I was ecstatic when I was asked to fly down to Girls in Aviation Day and talk to girls, boys, and their parents about aviation. Now, with the pandemic and the increase of younger girls and women on social media and less in-person interaction, I have thought more about how I share my own life path and experience. I want to let girls of all ethnicities and backgrounds know that they get to do what they find enjoyable and to not measure their time or worth by what anyone else is doing. I know that I have the drive to complete whatever I set my mind to do, and with a scholarship I can get there faster. As an instrument and eventually commercially rated pilot, I want to connect with the girls and young women who scroll through Instagram, see me and what I’ve accomplished, and think, “I can dream of being a pilot too! Why not?”
MEET KELSEY SAGEN
When I started working as a flight attendant I quickly became curious about flying. I frequently spoke with pilots, soaking in everything they shared. One day, the first officer asked if I’d ever considered the career. Through talking to him I realized for the first time that I could become a pilot. I could be the one captaining, flying, and landing the plane. I didn’t need a military background, or a family of aviators to get me there. Following this realization, I immediately started looking for a flight school.
Within the first few lessons, I was hooked. Any remaining uncertainty became irrelevant and I thought, “I have to do this, now how am I going to make it work?” I paid for my private license by picking up extra shifts and drawing money from my savings. It was difficult to balance working overtime and flight lessons, but I persevered and earned my Private Pilot’s License on October 19, 2019!
I used up all of my savings to attain it. Afterwards, I began studying for my instrument rating and applying for scholarships. I applied for loans as well and, in April, one came through and I started training. I received my instrument rating on June 12, 2020. Shortly after, I moved in with my parents to save money for my commercial rating. The sacrifices I am making now are worth it to attain my dream.
I train at AV8 flight school in Eden Prairie, MN. AV8 has a fleet of six Piper Archers that cost $140 an hour wet, and the instructor fee is $70 an hour. My next two steps are to get my commercial rating (I’m almost there! My checkride is scheduled for December 10th) and to become a CFI. If I were to receive the generous flyGIRL scholarship, I would be grateful beyond words. This money would fund my CFI, giving me a better way to help pilots coming after me. It would also take me one step closer to my ultimate goal of becoming a Delta pilot.
If I were a recipient, your investment would be put to good use. In both academics and jobs, I have received honors of dedication and leadership. I earned the award for being “most dedicated” multiple years in extracurricular activities. In college, scholarships that I earned were centered on leadership. I’ve always been a hard worker, graduating Top Ten and Magna Cum Laude. At work, I receive written accolades of a job well done from coworkers and passengers.
I believe in giving back. I will continue to participate in Women in Aviation events. I have met wonderful people through the organization and I enjoyed volunteering at Girls in Aviation day. It was fun to be a part of sharing aviation with the girls. I know that as a woman pilot, they may look up to me just as I look up to the pilots at work. I hope that when they do, they realize their dreams are within reach.
I also volunteer my time to Virtual Aviation of Minnesota (VAM). Through VAM I have the pleasure of helping others achieve their own aviation dreams through mentorship. I am an active member of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). I recently became a qualified CAP pilot and soon I will be able to operate orientation flights. Once I am a CFI, I will instruct in my squadron.
One of my favorite things about aviation is the people I meet. I’ve met so many who have been willing to give me advice or take me up in a plane. I will keep pursuing this dream with the help and encouragement of enthusiastic aviators like you. People who are generous and encourage those coming after them, just as I hope to do for the next person. Thank you for considering me for the flyGIRL scholarship.
MEET NOBI BUNTIN
I never realized how much I loved flying until doctors told me I would never do so again. My career as a flight attendant ended abruptly when turbulence resulted in traumatic injuries. Prior to my injury, I had always been extremely athletic. Doctors told me it would take a miracle to walk again. From that instant, I put every ounce of energy into healing. Over two years, I underwent five procedures, countless hours of rehabilitation, and physical therapy. Determined to return to the sky, I obtained my First-Class Medical. I was one step closer to flying again, but this time from in the cockpit!
When I took my first discovery flight in 2016, I felt a surge of adrenaline and a sense of freedom I had not felt since my injury. The second we landed, I signed up for flight lessons! As the sole provider for our family of four, it is a struggle to make ends meet. To balance costs and support my goal, I pick up extra shifts and taken out loans. My family has been incredibly supportive, despite the sacrifices they endure on my behalf.
As I immerse myself in aviation, it is my passion to support our flying community. I am blessed with phenomenal mentors; it only feels natural to pay forward. Currently, I serve as the ‘WAI Hawaii 5-0 Treasurer’, chaired GIAD, ’99s Aloha Chapter Chair’ and formed an enthusiastic fundraising committee. In response to Covid-19, I founded the ‘Aloha Aviators’, a charitable group of aviators. Receiving media attention from WAI and AOPA enabled us to raise funds and awareness of our efforts. The Aloha Aviators have sewn and transported over 1400 masks throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
With my Multi-Engine Commercial certificate completed, I am one step closer to becoming an air ambulance pilot. Unfortunately, the offer to fly SIC for Mokulele Airlines was withdrawn due to the pandemic. During the lockdown, I remained focused. I passed two FAA Knowledge Exams and designed lesson plans. Learning to fly from the right seat is definitely a challenge, but it will soon become second nature with my tenacity. In conjunction with training, I work towards a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Despite the various uncertainties, I managed to maintain my 4.0 GPA.
It would be a tremendous honor to receive this scholarship; my strategy is to obtain a Commercial Single-Engine Add-On, followed by a Certified Flight Instructor Certificate. Teaching comes second nature and is extremely rewarding to me. I am eager to utilize my bilingual teaching experience to instruct the local and international community. Upon completing my instructor certificate, I have been offered a teaching position at Lani Lea Flight School. This will serve as a jet bridge to my goal of becoming a MedEvac pilot. Receiving the prestigious flyGIRL Sporty’s Scholarship will allow me to achieve my dream efficiently. With my relentless determination to leave the world in a better place, you will not regret investing in me. Aloha nui loa.
MEET KIM BURTON
Since I was little I have loved aviation. My family didn’t have the resources to enable me to purse this passion and I chose a different career path. When I started working, I was not fulfilled. I was bored and longing to do something that set my heart on fire. I knew it was time to pursue flight training and became an active member in my local chapter of Women in Aviation.
Between the resources provided by full-time employment and the opportunity afforded me through flight training scholarships, I was able to obtain private and commercial flight certificates with an instrument rating and a tailwheel endorsement. I began working on a flight instructor certificate when my progress came to an unexpected halt.
One of the best things that happened as a result of pursuing this dream was meeting my husband. We have a wonderful life together which includes two sons. We married in 2007, around the same time Brandon was hired by a regional airline. Things were looking positive for us until the economic recession hit. As a result, my flight training was sacrificed while I provided income for our family.
I can’t believe it has been over thirteen years since I have pursued my dream. During that time, I began to believe the falsehood that has been portrayed to women over generations. I began to believe that I could not pursue my dream and be a supportive wife and great mom. I thought it was not in the cards for me and the sacrifice was necessary to enable my family to achieve their dreams.
In December 2019, I was reflecting on the year’s accomplishments. I realized all the accomplishments focused on my husband and kids. I asked myself: What about me? What about my dreams? I had to discontinue believing the falsity that I was not worthy or able to pursue mine. I decided that I was going to focus energy and effort into achieving my dreams and doing so would not make me less of a wife or mother- in fact, it makes me a better one.
I want to become a CFI to lead and influence our next generation of pilots, especially women. I want to teach them in an encouraging, inspiring and safe environment. I want to mentor them-help them learn from my mistakes. I want to coach them-in the pursuit of their dreams whatever that may be.
Thank you for considering this application and supporting my dream of empowering future generations. If chosen, know that your gift will grow exponentially as I give back to the aviation community-especially to those young women who like me have a dream and just need some support achieving it.
Nelson Mandela said “There is no passion to be found playing small-in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” My intentions are to pursue my ambition, my dream and to never play small again.
MEET KRISTI NAIGAN
My career path looks very different now from what it did a year ago. I had a long successful career in the casino industry but was ready to start the next chapter of my life. That next chapter I thought was going to be in medicine. I was preparing to attend graduate school to become a Physician Assistant when fate stepped in. For some reason I had convinced myself I was too old to be an airline transport pilot. My love for aviation goes back as far as elementary school where I dreamed of becoming a pilot. But, life took me in a different direction and what I thought were childish dreams were stuffed behind five kids and a mortgage. I chose medicine because I thought it was the responsible thing to do for my family. My best friend, who is a flight attendant, reminded me that it’s never too late to pursue our passions. She showed me I still was able to have a long career in aviation. The most important thing to me are my children, they are my motivation. I want to set a good example so they know that anything is possible at any age. I also want to teach them that San Diego is not the center of the universe. I not only want them to see the world but learn about and experience different cultures and a career in aviation would allow that.
I am currently training at Plus One Flyers for my instrument rating. It is also where I will be training for my Commercial and Certified Flight Instructor certifications. I have a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from USD and am currently working on an Associates of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics at San Diego Miramar College. I received several scholarships to attend USD and numerous honors for academic excellence including the Vice President’s List, Dean’s List, and First Honors. I tutor and help other pilots with subjects they find difficult. My career goal is to become a captain at Southwest Airlines. In order to accomplish that, my plan is to become a Certified Flight Instructor to gain the necessary hours, training and experience needed to attain a job at a regional airline like SkyWest.
I took out a personal loan to help pay for flight school. Like many of us, COVID-19 really affected our family. The only income we had for a few months was unemployment insurance. We all had to make sacrifices and my flight training was one of them. The WAI San Diego Aviation Chapter Scholarship I won last year allowed me to train longer than it would have been possible without it. This scholarship would mean I could continue my training and pursue a career in the aviation. The cost for training varies but averages about $200 per hour.
I’m a highly motivated hardworking individual that doesn’t let temporary setbacks derail me. My love for aviation continues to grow and if I am awarded this scholarship, I will not disappoint you.
MEET AVERI STEGEMAN
Pursuing a career in aviation has been my goal since I was twelve. My mother recently found my journal entry from 2012 where I detailed how I was going to become a NASA pilot. My passion for flying and aviation led me to joining the Civil Air Patrol and Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps along with joining AOPA, EAA, and Women in Aviation International. Being accepted into the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) made me a legacy as my father graduated from USAFA in 1992. Being a legacy deeply resonates with me. Using the strong work ethic and sense of determination he instilled in me, I will leave a legacy of my own in the aviation field.
My short term goal is to graduate from USAFA with a B.S. in Meteorology with my first assignment being pilot training. Next, I plan to graduate from Undergraduate Pilot Training at the top of my class and become a military aviator. Long term, the goal is to have a fulfilling career as a military officer and aviator and be able to continue my passion in the ever expanding world of aviation.
To earn a pilot assignment from the Air Force, I have to compete against my peers by having a higher Pilot Candidate Selection Method (PCSM) score. Pilot assignments have drastically decreased in number this year and become extremely competitive. I have taken the two pilot aptitude tests, and received close to the maximum scores on both. The final way for me to improve upon my PCSM score is with flight hours. Earning my private pilot’s license will increase my PCSM score, secure a pilot training assignment, and allow me to pursue my passion professionally.
I have no previous training due to the financial constraints of being a full time college student with a restricted income. The FAA Part 141 approved institution I will be earning my private pilot’s license from is the Academy Flight Training Center on the USAFA installation. The costs I will incur are as follows: $650 for ground school, $175 for my first flight, $42/hr for instruction, and $105/hr for aircraft rental.
Only 6% of military aviators are women. By pursuing a STEM degree and a career as a pilot, I am in the minority. I have been underestimated for the mere fact that I am female. That has never become a deterring factor. Adversity pushes me to challenge myself more, which provides the spark that ignites my inner drive. I worked as an aircraft marshal at Oshkosh AirVenture in 2017. As one of a handful of women in uniform at that airshow, I was often stopped by younger girls wanting to know more about what I did. I was put in the unique position where I could inspire them, and aviation scholarships are my opportunities to do so on a larger stage. To be a role model worthy of representing the Women in Aviation International organization is a true honor. The legacy I forge will inspire others to new heights.
Averi has been my bestfriend since we’ve went through basic training at USAFA together. I’ve never seen someone with such a strong worth ethic, a kind heart, and a desire to reach her goals in aviation. If she wins this scholarship, it will no doubt be put to the most wonderful person I know.
I’m totally behind Avery for this scholarship. Her passion for flying has been with her since she was just a young girl. She is is deserving of this scholarship.
I’ve known Kim for many years and she has always shown great effort and dedication to reach her goals. She so enjoyed her time flying before marriage and family interrupted her flying career. She was very enthusiastic, dedicated, and conscientious about becoming a pilot. It will be so wonderful and helpful when she’s awarded this scholarship!
I vote for Kelsey! Her work ethic and determination to be a pilot has been amazing to watch. She is inspiring to so many and has worked so hard to give back to support others in their journey to be a pilot while she herself is still working toward the same goal. I know that funds like these will only allow her to give back more and boost her training. Though all these women are very deserving of these funds, I think Kelsey would be an amazing option.
I’m so proud of you Kim Burton!! Keep following your dreams. 💛
This is a vote for Averi Stegeman! She is a hard working woman filled with passion for life who understands sacrifice and loyalty!!
I vote for Kim Burton! Go Kim!
My vote is for Kim Burton – these are all great, thanks for providing this opportunity for all fly girls!
Honestly, so many amazing stories from these admirable women. Looking over them, I feel as though Kelsey Sagen is at a point in her flying career where the scholarship could be used most effectively.
I’m voting for Kim Burton! She has true passion and love for aviation. A scholarship to aid in her dreams of becoming a certified flight instructor would be a dream come true! Go Kim!
I would like to submit my vote for the flygirl scholarship for Kim Burton. She is extremely well deserving of this scholarship because she has always put others first and there is no time like the present to finally go after her dream.- Linsy Puryear
I vote for Kelsey Sagen, She volunteers with my non-profit organization helping pilot candidates earn their wings. Kelsey has successfully helped countless students through their private and instrument ratings. She is our go to person for student questions about regulations and procedures. she is by far the hardest working volunteer we have. Investing in her is like investing in the future of many since she will continually pay it forward.
I’d love to vote for KIM BURTON – what an inspiring essay! Get at those dreams, Kim! <3
While all the women are very deserving, qualified in different stages and in different ways, Kim’s time is now. I believe her passion, flight experience, attention to safety, detail and life experience will make her an excellent flight instructor. She is inspiring, communicates very well and has the most potential of using her skills as a flight instructor to touch many aspiring pilots into the future. Kim’s dreams include inspiring the dreams of others equal to achieving her own dreams. This, I believe makes choosing Kim the best scholarship investment now and into the future.
I vote for Kelsey!
I vote for Kim Burton and her love for flying and her family’s love for flying! Go Kim!!!
Congratulations to all the candidates that have made it thus far! You are all great examples for others to follow, both men and women! I expect that meeting anyone of these women would be inspirational. I hope they all do well and are able to accomplish their goals. Being a retired career firefighter, I have experienced working in a career that I loved and enjoyed. My vote would be for Kelsey Sagen, I may be biased as I am her dad, the way she lights up when talking about anything aviation is in itself inspiring. She is determined to become an airline pilot and is well on that path. Financing of course is a challenge, as anyone who knows anyone taking flying lessons knows how expensive it is for each and every hour of flight. Thank you to Fly Girl for this opportunity for Kelsey and the other applicants. You all are already winners! Keep your goals in focus and fly forward (hope that was funny, i’m a non aviator).
I vote Kelsey Sagen!
I vote for Averi!!!
Vote for Nobi!
Kelsey all the way!!!!!
I vote for Nobi!!!!
Voting for Kelsey!
I would love to see Kim Burton get this scholarship.
My vote is for Kristi Naigan. Her story and hard working demeanor is an inspiration to a lot of us. Balancing her family life, two jobs and a passion for the air is exactly the reason why I believe she deserves this!
I vote Averi
I would like to vote for Kim Burton to be the 2021 winner.
Kelsey Sagen is the kindest most humble person I have ever met. If anybody deserves this scholarship, it is her! She volunteers her time helping other women achieve their aviation goals.
Voting for Kim Burton! She’s an amazing woman and supports and lifts up so many others. Now is her time!!
I have known Kim Burton most of my life. She will always be one of the people I respect the most in this world because of her kindness, generosity, goodwill and passion. She is very deserving of this award.
I vote for Kim Burton!!!!!
I vote for Kristi !! 100% 🙂
Casting my vote for Kristi Naigan!
Go Kelsey! Go Kelsey! Go Kelsey!!! ✈️
Kristi Naigan is so deserving of this.
My choice is Kristi Naigan!
I want to vote for Kristi Naigan.
Vote for Nobi!
I’d like to vote for Kim! As a fellow Mom I know it’s so easy to let your dreams die while supporting everyone else. I’d love to see her continue to pursue her passion and what lights her up!
I’d like to vote for TAYO LADEINDE, please.
Averi Stegeman has my vote
I vote for Kristi
I vote for Kim Burton!
Kelsey Sagen is a practical dreamer who excels in dreaming big dreams, and accomplishing them! There is always a great cost to herself (the dream of being a pilot is no exception), but she chooses the hard thing anyway, knowing how important it is to do the work you love! She inspires me to believe in seemingly impossible dreams, and shows me it’s actually possible with hard work and people who believe in you. The diligence, research, careful saving, and creativity she has demonstrated is impressive, and I’m confident she will always represent females in aviation well! In conclusion, I believe Kelsey Sagen makes a worthy candidate for the Fly Girl Scholarship.
I wrote the above last year, and I wanted to include it again because it’s all still true of her, plus even more! In the last year, she has studied for and earned several certifications (at great personal cost) – proving over and over her persevering belief in herself and the worth of pursuing her dreams. Kelsey’s willingness to choose to do hard things, even when there are setbacks or seemingly insurmountable obstacles, makes her an amazing Fly Girl, one who continues to represent the best of females in Aviation! My vote is for Kelsey Sagen!
I vote for Kim Burton!
I vote Kristi! 🙂
My Vote is for Kelsey!
I vote for Kim Burton. Her lifelong dream of aviation is a goal she has to put on hold a few years ago and has eagerly rekindled her passion for flying. She is an excellent candidate.
Yassss Kristi!!!! So happy for you Gal!! #gogetitdone
Great stories and well deserved applicants. I vote for Kim Burton. Thanks for supporting women in aviation!
Vote: Kelsey Sagen
I vote for Averi!!
I vote for Kim Burton!!
Voting for Kim Burton!!
I vote for Kim
I vote for Kim Burton! She is so deserving of this scholarship.
My vote is for Kim Burton!
What a great group of women! I wish that they all could get assistance from Fly Girl, but forced to choose one, I’d favor Kim Burton.
We were so lucky when the Stegeman family moved in next door and so sad when they moved out. This was during Averi’s time in HS. Averi was the hardest working teenager I have ever met. Always studying, focused, and so smart. Also so loving with a heart of gold. I think I as her first “employer”. She cared for my dog multiple days a week. She took such great care of him, taking notes on the directions I provided and giving him so much love. I was so thankful. Averi is beautiful inside and out and is definitely a role model to other young girls on how chase your dreams and land among the stars!! ✨ literally 😀.
I have known Kim since 1983. I have seen her grow as a woman on a mission. Kim is passionate about helping others to achieve their goals She loves aviation and is well deserving for this scholarship. She will make an excellent candidate for this program.
My vote is for Kim Burton. I took Kim on her first ride in a light airplane. Imagine my elation when Kim took me and my two grandkids for a flight. My grandson and I climbed in the back. My granddaughter rode shotgun sitting next to Kim. It was the highlight of my flying career. I am just beaming as I type this. Go Kim!
I vote for Averi
If you know Nobi you know she has a heart of gold. She’s so loving and kind. I vote Nobi B, she definitely deserves it!!!!
I vote for Averi. I’ve never known a girl who has worked so hard to achieve her goal and she does so with great passion!!!!
I vote for Averi Stegeman!
Voting for Averi Stegeman! She is an amazing young woman!
I vote for Averi Stegeman! Whoop whoop
Averi stegeman !!!
Kim Burton is an amazing person and very deserving of this scholarship. Good luck to all of these amazing candidates!
My support and vote is for Averi Stegeman.
My vote is for Averi Stegeman. She is a very hard working young lady and gives everything 100% all the time!
Averi Stegeman gets my vote! Proud of all her accomplishments! Martha DeSilva
I vote for Averi Stegeman. Good Luck! Love you much!!!
I vote for Averi! She is such a smart, strong and positive role model. Her hard work and dedication to pursue what she loves is truly inspiring!
My vote goes to Nobi !!!!
I vote for Averi Stegeman!
Averi Stegman for sure!!!!
I vote for Kelsey, She works at a non-profit and has helped mentor/teach numerous other pilots for free. She has not only mentored future female military pilots but other flight attendants. The scholarship for her would have an immediate payback to the aviation community as she would continue to volunteer to teach future civilian and military aviators.
Kim Burton gets my vote! She always thinks of others and is always so generous with her time.
What inspirational women! My vote is for Kim Burton. As a fellow mom, I hope she gets this opportunity to pursue her dreams.
Kelsey Sagen! I see in Kelsey what many people aspire to be; she is kind, professional, determined and smart. I am blown away by Kelsey’s flying progress over the last year, her perseverance and joy of flying is inspiring to those around her. I can’t wait to see you in your pilot uniform at Delta Kelsey!!!
My vote is for Averi. Former CAP cadet? That speaks volumes!
I vote for Tayo. She has a lot of life experiences outside of flight training. I love hearing about pilot’s previous lives!
I’m a zoomie so Cadet Stegeman. Aim High!
I vote Kim! Such an inspiration!
My vote goes for Kelsey Sagen! She has shown dedication, loyalty and hard work towards this career. You can clearly see the passion in her journey towards her goal.
Kelsey Sagen is the best representative of the power of positive thinking. Her “can do” attitude is inspirational and her giving spirit takes my admiration of her to a whole new level. My great niece, at the age of 5, said she wanted to grow up to “fly like Kelsey” because she is nice to everyone. At the most basic level, that describes every bit of Kelsey – nice to everyone. When she talks about flying, her eyes light up and her enthusiasm is electric. She has not only dedicated every moment of her free time to being the best pilot she can be, she is interested in knowing and understanding all planes. When a plane is heard overhead, she stops and her eyes go straight to the sky to see what is up there and it is apparent that she wishes she were up there too. Kelsey would be an amazing recipient of this scholarship, promoting women in the skies, flying anything and everything they put their minds to!
All strong candidates, but I vote for Kelsey. Here’s why, being a pilot, soldier, former civil air patrol cadet, and airline fleet maintenance corporate professional I have a lot of experience evaluating not only the drive necessary, but the need and the impact to the Aviation community. Kelsey is already mentoring others in flight training and she will continue to pay it forward with her free assistance to the future dreamers of Aviation not only in CAP, but also online with her mentoring and with her flight instruction. Even after she attains her job in Delta she’ll be using her spare time to pay it forward which she already does regardless of this scholarship. I believe that the impact of this one contribution will be paid forward to countless others over the course of a long career. As a soldier I know that we get to use our GI bill towards Aviation after private pilot. I think the civilian world isn’t so lucky. While I think all candidates will find a way to pay it forward I do believe, despite being kind, considerate, and thoughtful, Kelsey’s contribution will lead to not only the most women joining aviation, but the most people of all the candidates that in turn are inspired to do good things like their mentor.
I am Kelsey’s mom so am biased but she has worked very hard to become a pilot at great personal expense. As she said, she moved back home, giving up her own independence, in order to put her funds toward flying and achieving her goal. She has used her savings and her dad and I try to help as much as we can but this scholarship would make a huge difference for her in her training. She has a passion for flying but also a kind heart and a giving spirit. She will give back more than she ever receives to other people. Please consider awarding the scholarship to such a deserving young woman.
Another vote for Kelsey Sagen
All amazing candidates well deserving of the scholarship, but my vote goes to Kelsey! She goes above and beyond when she mentors future pilots, everything from leading study sessions to answering phone calls at any hour. You can see the passion and dedication in her eyes, it is inspiring. Either in the sky or on the ground she is giving everything she has got. These are just a few of the reasons why I believe she would be a great choice!
All very strong, inspiring candidates, but I vote for Kelsey!