avfuel announces annual scholarship recipients

October 16, 2018

Avfuel Corporation announces Reid Columbia of Dunwoody, Georgia, the recipient of the 20th Annual AVTRIP Scholarship and Madeline Boudreau of Harvey, Louisianna, the recipient of the inaugural Avfuel Pilot-in-Training Aviation Scholarship.
As the captain for a corporate aviation department, Columbia will use the $2,000 scholarship to complete an upset recovery/introduction to aerobatics course to further his safety education.
“Basic aerobatic training is not required in aviation,” said Columbia, “yet it would make me a safer pilot. While it is imperative and excpected to add value to my organization, I look forward to the opportunity to be better versed in advanced flying techniques, like aerobatics and upset recovery, so that I can share it with peers.”
Thomas Karcz, the captain and safety officer at Columbia’s company, said, “As safety officer, I am always looking for innovative ways to incorporate safety initiatives into our department. After learning more about this scholarship and the course Reid wants to attend, I’m confident the techniques and education Reid would receive from this opportunity would positively impact our safety culture…Reid’s flying abilities are a testament to his work ethic and attention to detail, keeping safety of flight his number one priority.”
Beaudreau, a student, will use her $1,500 scholarship to complete a PPL prior to starting college, earning her six college credits. She was recently accepted into the University of Nebraska Omaha’s aviation program where she’ll major in professional flight.
“My dream is to be an airline captain and I will make it happen,” said Beaudreau. “Imagine what a four-year aviation degree, 1,000 hours in the air, and a newly-minted R-ATP recipient will be capable of. With the resources afforded professional pilots expanding due to the growing shortages, I hope to be in a position to be one of the pilots helping in the wake of hurricanes and to return the favor by helping those unable to afford flight training attain their dreams.”
In addition to her pilot training, Beaudreau has already begun to share her love of aviation with others. After a discovery flight and 25 hours of flying, she created The Metro New Orleans High School Let’s Fly Now Initiative.
“The more I fly, the more I love to fly,” said Beaudreau. “We are reaching out to high school juniors and seniors to inform them of the vast educational, scholarship and career opportunities offered by the industry. The carrot is an opportunity to actually fly a plane for free …Once many of them get behind the yolk and feel the excitement and challenge of flying, they will fall under its spell, too.”
This year’s addition of the pilot-in-training scholarship yielded an impressive number of applicants. Due to the caliber of the applicant pool, Avfuel also awarded two additional pilot-in-training scholarships of $500 each to Wesley Brinkman of Lexington, Kentucky, and Cole Williams of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, both of whom aspire to be pilots in the United States Air Force. Altogether, Avfuel awarded $4,500 in scholarship monies—the most to date.
“We really wanted to do something special in the AVTRIP Scholarship’s 20th year,” said Marci Ammerman, vice president of marketing for Avfuel. “We strongly felt a sister scholarship to support the next generation of aviators was the right path for us and we were pleased with the response. We wish our scholarship recipients luck in their endeavors and are excited to follow their stories.”