2022 Aviation Scholarship Winners Announced
The Virginia Department of Aviation announced Grace Stinson as the recipient of its Willard G. Plentl, Sr. Aviation Scholarship. Stinson will be attending the Liberty University School of Aeronautics in the fall and is enrolled in the Unmanned Aerial Systems program.
The scholarship, in the amount of $2,500, is awarded every year to a Virginia High School senior who is planning an aviation career in a non-engineering area. Stinson hopes to work with drones and is considering possible careers doing surveying with power or construction companies that would need imaging done. She chose Liberty University because they offer certification for both small and medium UAS.
Stinson attended Amherst County High School and has been working on obtaining her private pilot’s license. She said the scholarship will go a long ways towards her goal of achieving an instrument rating.
“Right now I’m getting my private pilot’s license separately because it’s cheaper to do outside of Liberty than within the university,” Stinson said. “When I have to get my instrument rating, that’s what this money is going towards with those course fees because it’s more flight hours.”
Stinson is also the recipient of the John R. Lillard Foundation, Inc. Aviation Scholarship on behalf of the Virginia Airport Operators Council. The Foundation distributes financial assistance in the amount of $3,000 to a deserving student who is graduating from a public high school in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is admitted to an institution of higher education in the field of aviation management or aviation sciences.
Stinson said she was both surprised and excited to be selected as the recipient of two scholarships. The Liberty bound scholar shared that she is appreciative of the support she received along the way from teachers, counselors and mentors who inspired her to chase her dreams.
“I’m thankful to everyone who has helped me with this,” Stinson said. “The counselors at my school have been super helpful and Professor Kendra Guillen at Liberty helped me with a STEM project that I was doing that was related to aviation. She definitely encouraged me as a women in aviation and a scholar to go for scholarships and she has been a great mentor for me.”
The VAOC also announced that Jacob Reyburn is the recipient of the Kenneth R. Scott Aviation Scholarship. The scholarship, in the amount of $3,000, is awarded to a graduating Virginia high school senior who is planning a career in the field of aviation and must be enrolled or accepted into an aviation related program at an accredited college. Reyburn is graduating from Bruton High School and will be attending the Aviation Flight Science program at Western Michigan University.