The Upwind Foundation has revealed the Upwind Summer Scholarship Program Class of 2015: Anthony Bellanti of San Mateo, Calif.; Kevin Gray of Belmont, Calif.; Evan Isenstein-Brand of Pacifica, Calif.; and Michelle Karpishin of San Mateo.
These four aspiring young aviators have been awarded a complete primary flight training program that begins with ground school in April and continues with flight training once the academic school year is completed.
Upwind Board Chairman Dan Dyer shares, “We are extremely pleased to award four scholarships this year – double the number of scholarships awarded in prior years. There were several qualified candidates and the final decision was not an easy one.”
The Upwind Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that sponsors the Upwind Summer Scholarship Program. Upwind was created by San Francisco Bay Area pilots to promote piloting and general aviation, and to cultivate interest in aviation as a career.
Each year Upwind selects one or more high school students and provides them with everything they need to earn a Private Pilot certificate. This includes private pilot ground school, flight training with expert instructors and the requisite books, charts, and basic flight planning tools. Throughout the program, the scholarship recipients will receive mentorship from other pilots, and enjoy many other social and flying activities.
Meet the Upwind Class of 2015
Anthony Bellanti is a junior at Burlingame High School and the son of Ron and Felicia Bellanti. He is also interested in architecture, and works as a lifeguard for the Burlingame Aquatic Club. “It is a lifelong dream for me to obtain my pilot’s license. It is the only job I forsee myself getting up for in the morning with a smile.”
Kevin Gray is a junior at Carlmont High School and the son of Stephen and Judy Gray. He enjoys board sports and parkour, and works at Planet Granite. His career goals include becoming a Naval Aviator and an astronaut. “Aviation fascinates me on three levels; the engineering and mathematics, the capability to change lives, and the feeling one gets while flying.”
Evan Isenstein-Brand is a junior at Sequoia High School and the son of Tim Brand and Lisa Isenstein. “A magical flight in an open-cockpit biplane when I was 8 years old got me hooked on flying, and I haven’t been able to shake the craving for flight since.” Evan works at San Carlos Flight Center as a member of the Flight Line Team. He is also a photojournalist, sharing his interviews, photos, and videos on his web site Evanflys.com.
Michelle Karpishin is a junior at Hillsdale High School and the daughter of Tim Karpishin and Gisele Lennox. She is a competitive swimmer and has plans to study mechanical or aerospace engineering in college. “Learning to fly will relate to a career that I would love. I hope to contribute to aviation in improving the effectiveness of airplanes, in safety, or the design of crafts for space exploration.”