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Ready Room Blog

6/6/2024

Introducing the
2024 Scholarship Recipients

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum awards Scholarships to those who dream of a future in Aviation.

2024 Scholarship Winners

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is proud to provide multiple scholarships, generously funded by our donors, with the aim of educating and inspiring future generations to achieve their aviation goals. We are thrilled to announce the recipients of our 2024 aviation scholarships. 23 individuals have been selected from a pool of impressive candidates – each with remarkable achievements, unwavering dedication, and passion for aviation.

For the Love of Country Scholarship

The For Love of Country Scholarship is part of the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Educational Endowment, which was established in 2021 to fund the Museum’s educational efforts and to award scholarships to individuals committed to a career in aviation. The endowment was funded with $1,000,000 by the Rick & Teresa Price Family as a condition of the sale of a division of their Hawaii-based company to Oil Changers, Inc. in January 2020. The For Love of Country Scholarship awards up to $10,000 for individuals whose commitment to an aviation career is evident. 

2024 Recipients:

Cherrykan Photo - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Cherry Kan | $10,000

Ann Arbor, Michigan

After a long flying hiatus, Cherry returned to the skies last year, inspired by other pilot moms balancing parenting and a dream career. She has since regained her pilot currency, logged over 250 flight hours, passed her FAA written exams, and is currently waiting for her instrument checkride to take place. She plans to pursue her commercial certificate and multiengine rating immediately after.

Beyond flying, Cherry is passionate about advocating for diversity in aviation. She is an active member of the Professional Asian Pilot Association, serving on the Expo and Communication Committee, and is the Scholarship Chair for The Ninety-Nines – Michigan Chapter. Her ultimate goal is to become a pilot for an international operation. She is particularly enthusiastic about mentoring other AAPI women and youth who are pursuing a career in aviation and will take on a more active role in this cause once her flight training is completed.

Justinscott - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Justin Scott | $8,000

Pearland, TX

Justin Scott developed a love for aviation at a young age – his father works in the aviation industry and his family loves to travel. They always went to aviation museums during their travels, and often left with pictures of Justin pretending to and actually piloting planes. He even started taking discovery flights during some of these vacations, including one over the Pearl Harbor area during a visit to Hawaii in March 2018.

During the summer of 2023, Justin embarked on his dreams of becoming a commercial pilot with his first lesson. On December 29, 2023 he passed the checkride to acquire a private pilot license. He now attends Lone Star College in their Professional Pilot program and is ready to take his checkride for his instrument rating and will begin his commercial this summer, thanks to this scholarship. He plans to graduate from the program in December and will begin building flight hours in 2025. By his 21st birthday in November 2025, he plans to have his Restricted Air Transport Pilot Certificate, and hopes to be employed by a commercial carrier.

Ethanfoy - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

ETHAN FOY | $8,000

Minot, North Daokota

Ethan Foy’s achievements include being soloed in both a Cessna 172 and an Aeronca Champ 7AC. He has completed all of the requirements for his Private Pilot License, and is just waiting on availability for the Designated Pilot Examiner. His immediate plans are to focus on his commercial and Certified Flight Instructor certifications. He currently work for an aerial applicator company which has a seat open for him in an Airtractor 402.

Tracyatobatele - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Tracy Atobatele | $6,000

Northglenn, Colorado

Tracy Atobatele’s short term aviation goals are to finish her CFII (Certified Flight Instructor Instrument) and MEI (Multi-Engine Instructor) training and start instructing at the flight school she is presently attending. She strives to become chief flight instructor there. Beyond instructing, she hopes to one day move on to piloting with a commercial airline and would like to open a flight training facility while still working on her shoemaking business which donates a percentage of its profits to helping newborns in need in Tracy’s home country of Nigeria.) Tracy also plans to continue to volunteer for the various organizations that she has been a part of, including Women in Aviation, Sisters of the Skies, The Ninety-Nines, and others. She hopes her journey of faith and resilience inspires others to continue to strive for greatness and never give up.

Naiabalancio - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Nai'a Balancio | $5,000

Kealakekua, Hawaii

Nai’a Balancio is currently enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in their Aeronautical Science program. She is also a student pilot at Tropicbird Flight Service working towards receiving her private pilot license. She currently has about 35 hours of total flight time and has completed the pre-solo stage with her first solo flight. She is currently working on her cross country solo and hopes to be able to complete her private pilot checkride before the start of the next school year. Looking further into the future, she plans to continue to earn up to her single engine commercial certification with Tropicbird, while completing the requirements to receive her bachelors of Aeronautical Science at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Nai’a then plans to join the Air Force and complete the rest of her certifications there. By joining the Air Force, she will be able to serve her country, make a difference, and inspire others around the world to do the same.

Jacksonwilson - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Jackson Wilson | $5,000

Ada, Oklahoma

As a Kindergarten student, Jackson Wilson had to complete an “About Me” project for school. There was a section that asked what they wanted to be when they “grew up.” For him, the answer was always the same: a pilot.

During his senior year at Byng High School in 2022, he took a discovery flight, and it confirmed that the answer was still the same. He is now through his sophomore year at Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he is majoring in Aviation Sciences-Professional Pilot. He earned his Private Pilot License in 2023, and is now awaiting his checkride to add the Instrument Rating. He has over 130 hours of flight time and enjoys flying anytime he gets the opportunity. He is also a member of his local EAA Chapter 1005 in Ada, Oklahoma which gives him a chance to serve his community and learn from the other pilots.

After completing his Instrument Rating, he will begin working towards his Commercial Certification, Instructor rating, and multi-engine. His ultimate goal is to become a commercial airline pilot.

Richallred - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Richard Allred | $5,000

Meridian, Ohio

James began his aviation career in the U.S. Army. After Army helicopter flight school, he served as an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior pilot-in-command and instructor pilot. In 2018, he chose to continue his aviation career as a commercial airline pilot and earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He earned his private airplane license at Barber’s Point Aviation Services in 2019, and joined the Civil Air Patrol at the Wheeler Squadron where he serves as VFR pilot, Transport Mission Pilot, and Squadron Safety Officer. James has over 1,800 total hours, and over 400 hours in the local Hawaii airspace. He continues to pursue add-ons and hours needed to fly for a regional airline and serves as a Civil Air Patrol instructor pilot. His goal is to fly for Hawaiian Airlines, continue to serve in the Civil Air Patrol, and be home regularly with his family.

Sofiagarcia - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Sofia Garcia | $5,000

Kailua, Hawaii

Sofia Garcia’s interest in aviation began when she attended one of Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum’s summer camps at the age of eight! Ever since, she has had a strong passion and love for aviation. Sofia earned her Private Pilot’s License on December 7th, 2023, and is currently working on her instrument rating. She hopes to have her commercial rating by the end of 2024.

In the future, Sofia would like to become a medivac pilot and serve the community around her. She is honored and grateful to be chosen for the Love of Country Scholarship.

Calebmendenhall - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Caleb Mendenhall | $5,000

DuPont, Washington

For as long as he can remember, Caleb Mendenhall has always dreamt of becoming an airline pilot. It gave him the desire to become an Aircraft Technician in the United States Air Force, which has taught him a variety of different skills. Throughout his life, he has ensured that every step forward brings him closer to realizing his dreams in aviation.

He has been qualified on over 100 different maintenance tasks on the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III and continues to learn more every day at work. Being a technician in the Air Force has given him a deeper sense of confidence and a knowledge base that will be crucial to his future endeavors as a pilot.

The military has also provided him with the opportunity to do other volunteer activities, including being in the Honor Guard. He recalls a time where he had the chance to “lay the best to rest,” and honor his fallen brothers-in-arms. “This gave me a deeper sense of respect for my country and my nation, instilling a sense of appreciation for what the United States has given me,” he says.

He looks forward to the future and the challenges that flight school, college courses, and life itself will bring. He believes a challenge is no reason to stop, and will always continue to pursue his passion no matter the obstacle.

Matthewcoffman - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Matthew Coffman | $5,000

Centennial, Colorado

Matthew Coffman’s goals in aviation are a product of a few different aspects of his life. His father was a pilot and introduced him to the world of military aviation at young age. His love and fascination for aviation continued to grow through high school and college, where he took a few flight lesson that further fueled his desire to become a pilot. Upon graduating college, he was selected to attend Air Force Officer Training School and eventually completed Weapons Systems Officer Training in the F-15E. After eight years in the Air Force flying the Strike Eagle, he made the decision to continue his pursuit of becoming a commercial pilot and left the Air Force to make that dream a reality. He has since completed his private pilot license and instrument rating, and is currently working to obtain his commercial license. His ultimate goal is to become a pilot for legacy airline and continue to inspire and facilitate the creation of future pilots through local and national organizations.

Sofiagoodwin - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Sofia Goodwin | $5,000

Grass Valley, California

Sofia Goodwin has always dreamed of becoming an airline pilot and is now on a journey to make that a reality. She is a student at San Jose State University (SJSU) majoring in Aviation, Professional Flight. Since starting school, she has been recognized as a President’s Scholar and Dean’s Scholar, in addition to becoming a Historian for the Women in Aviation Club, all while on track to graduate a year early.

Additionally, she is an instrument rated pilot and recently passed her commercial checkride! Her next goal is to earn her CFI so she can start to teach and inspire other aspiring pilots and build flight time. Outside of school, she likes to chase after huge goals like running 50 mile ultra marathons. Overall, her big aviation goal is to make it to the airlines so she can travel, fly and contribute to the movement for greater female representation in the industry.

Alexanderyount - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Alexander Yount | $5,000

Traverse City, Michigan

Alexander Yount’s path in aviation is very unique. If you had told high school Alex he would be working towards becoming an airline pilot, he would have said you were crazy. When he was 18, he joined the United States Air Force with the intention of becoming a police officer. After scoring well on the entry exam, he was placed into a job titled “In-Flight Refueling Specialist.” This was when he fell in love with flying.

Flash forward a couple of years, five deployments, and over 1500 flight hours, he had become a successful refueling specialist, or “boom” for short. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant and became an instructor for new “booms.” He spent over 60 days on the jet, meeting some amazing people who changed his life forever. Unfortunately, after six years, his time in the skies was over. He had a son on the way and could no longer stomach spending half the year away, flying in dangerous situations like over the Middle East. After separating from the Air Force, he had a tough time figuring out his future path. Then one day, his wife asked, “why not be a pilot?” He immediately rejected the idea. It felt inaccessible to him like it does for so many people. Ultimately, he chose to believe in himself, for his and his family’s future.

Now he is in Northwestern Michigan College’s Aviation program, as a single-engine land private pilot with an instrument rating seeking a commercial license and maintaining a 3.96 GPA. He has 192 hours of total time, and realizes now that he does not want to simply be a pilot: he wants to be an aviator.

COL. ROBERT P. MOORE SCHOLARSHIP

The Col. Robert P. Moore Scholarship was established by Board Member and aviator, Col. Robert P. Moore, to help Hawaii residents in acquiring their initial FAA aircraft pilot certificate and Hawaii-based FAA Commercial Pilots (or ATPs) getting their initial or additional FAA Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate in any FAA Category aircraft.
2024 Recipients:

Angelicajoven - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Angelica Joven | $5,000

Ewa Beach, Hawaii

Angelica Joven has her degree in Commercial Aviation as well as Aviation Management. She went to the University of North Dakota where she earned her licenses from Private through CFII. Her short term goal is to become a first officer at a commercial airlines and her long term goal is to become a captain and mentor students from training to First Officer / Captain!

Jasminehuang - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Jasmine Huang | $1,500

Braintree, Massachusetts

Jasmine Huang’s journey in the aviation industry began with Women in Aviation International (WAI). At WAI, in addition to her role as Treasurer, she served as the Fundraising Chair. She helped facilitate member networking events like the WAI conferences and plane washes for the surrounding local airports.

She was a mentor with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) where she volunteered her time to high school students during their Aerospace Career Education (ACE) camp, all of whom aspire to be in the aviation industry.

Jasmine was also the Vice President of the professional aviation fraternity Alpha Eta Rho (AHP). By nurturing a coed environment that thrives from the value every single person brings, she hopes to instill in young minds, confidence and trust in those who appear to be fundamentally different from themselves. Her ultimate objective is to develop acceptance and empathy within the community from an early stage.

Career-wise, Jasmine works as a student dispatcher at her flight school, and is also an intern with the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). She is currently studying to earn her Aircraft Dispatcher Certification while simultaneously working towards her Instrument Rating. She plans to continue her flight training until she can one day fly with a legacy carrier.

She is also working to advance in becoming a Communication Specialist with Massport. Jasmine hopes to continue her education while working and earning her Master’s in Space Operations at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University too. Her personal goal is to absorb all the knowledge this rich industry has to offer, building on her understanding and versatility in aviation.

BRIG GEN ROBERT B. AND JUDITH MAGUIRE SCHOLARSHIP

The Brig Gen Robert B. and Judith Maguire Scholarship was established in 2021 by Judith “Judy” Maguire to honor her late husband, Brig Gen Robert “Bob” B. Maguire, a lifelong military and civilian aviator. Aviation has had a lasting impact on the lives of both Bob and Judy and their hope is that this scholarship will help deserving students pursue their dreams of flight.
2024 Recipient:

Anaisrodriguez - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Anais Rodriguez | $1,000

Honolulu, Hawaii

Anais Rodriguez’s passion for aviation blossomed from her desire to travel. After graduating from the University of Hawaii in 2020, during the peak of the pandemic, she found herself grounded at home for almost two years, dreaming of one day being able to travel the world, and somehow get paid to do so. In August of 2022, she took a discovery flight and that was all it took to seal the deal. She fell in love with seeing her beautiful home from a different perspective.

After starting flight lessons in 2023, Anais promptly joined The Ninety-Nines as recommended by her flight instructor. After attending her first couple of meetings, she felt proud to be involved with the local aviation community and knew that this would be an organization she would be part of for years to come. Now, she is an active member of the Aloha chapter, regularly attending meetings, and assisting with planning future aviation events to further perpetuate the mission of The Ninety-Nines and inspire future Hawaii aviators.

Anais recently completed her first cross-country flight which she describes as a surreal experience. “It was amazing to see that all my hard work was paying off,” she explained. She is currently working on finishing up her solo hours and soon, will be preparing for her check-ride. Her long-term goal is to one day be an airline pilot for her dream airline, Hawaiian Airlines. Being born and raised in Hawaii, she would love to continue a career in her home state surrounded by friends and family.

FRANK DER YUEN AVIATION SCHOLARSHIP

The Frank Der Yuen Aviation Scholarship honors the aviation legacy of Frank Der Yuen, an internationally respected aeronautical engineer, airline executive, and consultant. Scholarships of at least $1,000 are awarded each year to Hawaii residents who have been accepted, or are enrolled, in an aviation-related program at an accredited trade school, college, or university.
2024 Recipients:

Kelsiehancock - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Kelsie Hancock | $2,000

Honolulu, Hawaii

Kelsie Hancock is currently a part 61 student at George’s Aviation in Honolulu. She has approximately eight flight hours so far with many more to come! Her ultimate goal is to earn a seat as a commercial pilot. The driving force behind her ambition is to honor the legacy of her late fiancé, Captain Nicholas “Sloppy” Losapio, Naval Aviator and Marine Corps Captain, who perished when his MV-22 Osprey experienced an unrecoverable total mechanical failure in June 2022. Their goal was to fly together, and he had ambitions to fly for the airlines after he fulfilled his service obligation in the Marine Corps. Kelsie decided one of the greatest ways to honor him was to carry the torch he lit in aviation and live fully with purpose and passion in everything she does. In addition to her flying endeavors, she has started a non-profit foundation called The Purple Skies Foundation to support all significant others of service members killed in action or the line of duty. The organization specializes in post aviation mishap support across all DoD service components. Separately from her non-profit, she has been a diligent activist in military aviation safety and has had the privilege of speaking on multiple media outlets on those endeavors. She explains, “I cannot change the past and what happened to my fiancé, but I can be a part of the solution going forward in keeping with and optimizing the standards in both military and civilian aviation.”

Caitlinthomas - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Caitlin Thomas | $2,000

Ewa Beach, Hawaii

Caitlin’s career background is in journalism and social media. She graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2014 and decided to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a professional pilot after getting laid off from a job in 2019. Her flight training journey began in Seattle, WA, and she was able to complete her Private Pilot License after moving home to Hawaii in 2020.

She completed her Instrument Rating in 2023 after meeting her now husband, Christopher, and having their first son, Maverick. With help from Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum and many other scholarships, she then obtained her Commercial Pilot License at the beginning of 2024, after finding out she is expecting again. With another son on the way, Caitlin is now studying to become a Certified Flight Instructor.

Caitlin loves being a part of the aviation community in Hawaii and serves as Board Treasurer for the Aloha Chapter of The Ninety-Nines and Board Secretary for the Women in Aviation Aloha Chapter. Her goals include becoming a Captain at a major airline, to know what it feels like to fly an approach into Europe at Christmastime and to be able to create and give scholarships to future aviators.

Caitlin is grateful to be the 2024 recipient of the Frank Der Yuen Aviation Scholarship and knows that she would not be able to chase after this dream without the significant help of scholarships.

ADMIRAL RONALD J. HAYS SCHOLARSHIP ​

The Admiral Ronald J. Hays Scholarships was established by friends and family members to honor the life, service and achievements of Admiral Hays, a testament to how one can rise from a modest beginning and through hard work and dedication achieve great success while serving one’s nation. His military career included service as a test pilot, combat missions over North Vietnam and numerous leadership commands before his appointment in 1985 as Commander in Chief Pacific Forces (CINCPAC) known today as U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Instrumental in the founding of this museum, the Admiral Hays Scholarship is distributed to young people who demonstrate the qualities of leadership, patriotism and service to their community.
2024 Recipient:

Hymangaea - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Hyman Gaea | $1,200

Kapolei, Hawaii

Hyman Gaea is currently finishing his instrument rating, awaiting a check ride date. He is very grateful for the Admiral Ronald J. Hays scholarship and one day hopes to donate to scholarships himself. His goals are to obtain his commercial pilot license, instructor ratings and then one day become a commercial airline pilot.

THE COL. ROBERT F. SZUL SCHOLARSHIP​

The Col. Robert F. Szul Scholarship, honors Bob’s distinguished military service. A decorated veteran, Bob flew numerous combat missions during the Vietnam War and joined Homeland Security after 9/11. As a Museum volunteer, Bob supported education programs, building a safe and fun educational experience for youth, and serving as a mentor and advocate for youth. He saw first-hand how involvement in these programs supported future goals, achievement, and success. This year, these four young women were awarded the Col. Robert F. Szul Scholarship to attend the upcoming 2024 Flight School for Girls Summer Camp.
2024 Recipients:

Epson Mfp Image - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Kara T.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Kara is a recent graduate of Moanalua Elementary School, and will be a 7th grader at Moanalua Middle School in the Fall. She is involved in extracurricular activities, including Scouts BSA where she holds the 2nd Class Rank, soccer with Rush Hawaii, and is a yellow belt in judo. Kara’s diverse interests reflect her passion for learning and exploration. She seeks to learn more about aviation because of her love for travel and her aspiration to communicate with people from diverse cultures. She cannot wait to learn from accomplished women in aviation, and explore the aviation field herself.

Adalynnm Szul - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Adalynn M.

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Adalynn will soon be a seventh grader at Aliamanu Middle School. At Aliamanu Elementary School (AES) she was in a club called Anchored4Life, a student run organization that aims to make a difference in our community. Adalynn’s favorite activity with the organization was passing out care packs for different life events a military family’s child may go through. In the upcoming school year, Adalyn will be in a GT (Gifted and Talented) English Language Arts program. She will also be a part of an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) class, which is a college prep class for middle and high school students.  

Adalynn enjoys trying new things, and is excited to attend Flight School for Girls! She believes the program will help her learn more about the world of aviation. She hopes to one day use the skills she attains from the program to achieve her major life goal of becoming a pilot.

Harmonye Szul - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Harmony E.

Waianae, Hawaii

Harmony is an 8th grader attending Waianae Intermediate. As the second youngest child in a large family of 13, she has always strived to do her best at school and home. Harmony became interested in airplanes in 6th grade when she had the opportunity to try out a space simulator at Barbers Point Elementary. Since then, she has been eager to learn how things work. Upon hearing about Flight School for Girls, Harmony didn’t want to let the opportunity pass her by. She is thrilled to be attending the summer program and hopes to learn everything about planes, make friends who share her interests, and eventually become a pilot. Her objectives include mastering the mechanics of planes and understanding how to ensure safety during flights. Harmony also looks forward to learning from experienced pilots and fellow aviation enthusiasts who are passionate about expanding their knowledge.

Skylac Szul - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Skyla C.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Skyla is a student from Hawaii Baptist Academy and will attend 8th grade in the fall. In school, she enjoys learning about math, science, and technology. A few of her extracurricular activities are coding, ballet, and piano. She is honored to receive the Col. Robert F. Szul Scholarship award for the 2024 Flight School for Girls summer program. Skyla is interested and excited to learn about the career of an aviator. During the five day summer camp, she hopes to learn about different types of aircraft, the history of aircraft, how to guide a plane, meet new friends, and more!

Cartierk Szul - 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Cartier K.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Cartier just graduated 8th grade at Niu Valley Middle School and will be attending Kalani High School next year. She is currently enrolled in the AVID Program which will help prepare her for college and reach her goal of becoming a pilot. She hopes attending Flight School for Girls will put her on the path to achieving her pilot license and flying the friendly skies. 

Thank you to all of our applicants

Stay tuned this fall for more information regarding the 2025 scholarship season.

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