An aviation student from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., is the 2015 recipient of the $3,000 Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Women in Aviation International student pilot scholarship.
Samantha G. Reed, a Liberty School of Aeronautics student, hopes to use her flying skills as part of a non-governmental organization doing humanitarian or missionary work. So far she has completed a 12-week ground school and has logged training time in a Piper Warrior, Cessna 172 and a simulator.
“Most people want to be flying commercially,” Samantha wrote in her scholarship application. “But I dream of becoming a missionary pilot and using my pilot’s license to make life better for other people. There is nothing I ever wanted more than to be able to offer my skills as a pilot to an NGO or non-profit organization so I can help people.”
Samantha, who is from Valparaiso, Ind., was one of more than 100 applicants for the student pilot scholarship, which AOPA awards each year as part of the Women in Aviation International (WAI) Scholarship program. Samantha received her award during an AOPA new member event at the annual WAI conference in Dallas in early March.
Applicants were evaluated on merit, including previous accomplishments, the ability to set and achieve goals, involvement in general aviation and commitment to flight training. Applicants were also asked to write an essay expressing their views on how general aviation supports local communities and the nation.
Samantha is a member of AOPA, WAI and SOAR (Serving Others using Aviation Resources). She graduated from high school with a 4.0 grade point average and was president of her school’s National Honor Society chapter. She is also a member of the Eagle Scholars Leadership Program at Liberty.