WAI scholarship applicants up 40%

The number of Women in Aviation, International (WAI) members who applied for scholarships has soared to 520, up from previous high of 371.

“Our message is that scholarships are not just for college students,” said WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “Many of our scholarships are for people already in the aviation workforce, who may be interested in adding new skills and certificates.” WAI scholarships are available to both men and women, and to apply, one must only be a current WAI member.

At the organization’s annual conference, slated for Feb. 25-27 in Orlando, 71 scholarships will be awarded with a total dollar value of $454,000. In addition, FedEx is awarding a B-727 through a WAI “scholarship” to a college, university, museum, or training center that is a corporate member of Women in Aviation. The airplane is valued at $1 million.

“The WAI Scholarships benefit both the recipient and the aviation industry in that we are helping to create new pilots, new maintenance technicians and upping the qualifications of the workforce at large,” said Chabrian. “And in the case of FedEx’s generous gift of a 727, an entire organization will benefit.”

Although most of the scholarships are career oriented, other scholarships are offered which involve fulfilling an aviation dream or learning to fly just for fun. “Just like our membership, our scholarships cover every facet of aviation from airlines to pleasure flying, corporate flying, dispatching, engineering and maintenance,” added Chabrian.

The 2010 scholarships will be awarded throughout WAI’s Conference. With the theme “Aviation: It’s a Small World,” the WAI Conference will include seminars, workshops, networking events, speakers, and a commercial exhibit area.

To help spread the word on WAI scholarships, as well as those offered by other aviation groups and organizations, Chabrian will host a seminar at Sun ‘n Fun about the availability of career-oriented scholarships. “We are doing this outreach to inform as many people as possible about the career scholarships available to them,” she said.

This forum, titled “Aviation Scholarships: Not Just for Kids,” will take place during April 15 at 1 p.m. in Tent 4. The forum is open to any attendee of Sun ‘n Fun.

For more information: 937-839-4647 or WAI.org.

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