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Working to preserve Idaho's irreplaceable backcountry airstrips.


IAA is pleased to offer four scholarships. Applicants may only apply for ONE of the following FOUR scholarships:

Interstate Scholarship IAA Scholarship Shep-Rock Scholarship SP Air Scholarship

Interstate Scholarship

0 currently available

pdf Interstate Scholarship Guidelines

Marshall Taylor

2018 Winner: Marshall Taylor

My name is Marshall Taylor and I live in Lewiston, ID. I am married and have two young children. I am the production manager at a machine shop in Orofino. I have always had an interest in mechanical things and I enjoy a healthy challenge, airplanes and flying fit into both categories. I am intrigued by both the gravity defying physics of flight as well as the marvel of the mechanical designs of each fascinating flying machine. I have always been drawn to aerospace and, like many others who dream of flight, I have always instinctively scoured the sky every time I hear the sound of a plane sailing overhead.

I ended up pursuing a career in manufacturing, so even though the desire to fly never left me I knew the reality of my dream come true would come later rather than sooner. With the support and encouragement of my wife I began my flight training in January 2017 and accomplished my private pilot checkride on January 15th, 2018. It took some sacrifices on behalf of my family but I was determined to finish what I started. I now enjoy sharing my passion and privilege as often as I can.

My desire is to combine my passion for flying with my manufacturing experience. There is a huge presence of aviation manufacturing in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest, I see an amazing opportunity to provide services and components to support these aerospace companies. By continuing in my flight training journey, I will not only become a safer pilot but I will also be able to better serve and understand my customer’s needs. Like starting a business, flying is a large investment of time and money but I believe both have great rewards.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude toward the IAA and Inter-State Aviation for your dedication to aviation and for helping me achieve my goals. This scholarship will allow me to continue on to my instrument rating. It will also bring more opportunities to create an aviation manufacturing business rooted here in the Pacific Northwest. I am thankful to be a part of a great community of aviators that I have come to realize are so generous and willing to help others, not only fellow pilots, but they are also committed to serving non-aviators and protecting the great place we live.

UPDATE:       I want to thank you once again for the generous scholarship that I received last year. The scholarship the IAA awarded me has given me an excellent start to my instrument training. I am now well into my training and it has been quite exciting. I enjoy the level of precision that it demands as well as the organization needed to execute an instrument flight. Earlier this year I passed my instrument written exam with a 97%. I have a long cross country and checkride prep to look forward to. I still need to acquire more instrument hours before I am eligible to take the practical test but I am excited to spend time with some seasoned pilots that will serve as my safety pilot. Although the scholarship funds were quickly expended and there is still a financial gap ahead, I am still determined as ever to complete the instrument rating on my way to obtaining a commercial rating. I am thrilled to have the privilege to fly and be among some of the most generous people there could be. I thoroughly enjoy the comradery and the willingness of others to share their flying wisdom and experiences.    Sincerely, Marshall Taylor

Ryan Turner

2018 Winner: Ryan Turner

When I was a teenager I boarded a small bush plane and departed out of Cascade, ID for a lesser known dirt strip called Pistol Creek on the Middle Fork of The Salmon River. The experience of gaining access to territory unreached by roads surrounded and protected by raw and rugged terrain will stick with even the youngest of those who adventure deep into the Wonderland. It felt like Mars but with snow capped mountains of thunder, tall mystic trees and rivers full of silver flashing fish.

Many associated flying with freedom; it seems to be the go-to term but I prefer to say that flying is romance. For it is romance that one feels when we access the greatest place of them all which I call the Wonderland. The Wonderland of the living sky, the Wonderland of lands uninhabited and the Wonderland that is congregating with people loved and would not otherwise see. 

I reaccessed Idaho and aviation in the Fall of 2014. I arrived for the purpose of learning to fly and to reconnect with experiences still resonating from the teen years visit. I did a discovery flight with Ken Larson at KSZT, later soloed, earned my private certificate and I kept going. Too much more to see, too much more to do, too much more to share. As of current I am an instrument rated commercial pilot preparing for a multi engine check ride with high altitude jet dreams.

Yesterday, a cold and sunny December day of magic, I sat right seat in a Citation M2, departed Sandpoint, climbed to 39,000' and watched Northwest America underneath my wings. The town of Lewiston and the Clearwater / Snake river confluence on the left; Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood on the right and underneath salmon swimming in the rivers that connect them all. I landed in a storm in Southern California and was met by two of my brothers, neither of which had I seen in many months. Never did I think this travel by sky safari was possible. Never did I think that Pistol Creek would tell this tale and never did I think it did it would have this affect. 

I can say with certainty that the Wonderland life is for me and I can say with certainty that I will continue to share it with others. These things we do and see are not possible without others first sharing them with us. And it's our obligation, my obligation, to continue until I can no longer share it with others. 

That's The Wonderland Way.

Chris Miller

2018 Winner: Chris Miller

My name is Chris Miller and I was born and raised in Caldwell, Idaho.  For most of my childhood I was raised on field with my father at Caldwell Industrial Airport (KEUL) helping with construction of many new hangers.  Growing up on field for the most part, I was a part of general aviation's many facets from morning café banter, to the occasional weekend backcountry trips and to watching some of the best builders construct new aircraft.  As I grew up, I realized I was a part of all of it, other than being a pilot!

I am a truck driver by trade and haul fuel in Idaho mostly. I have been a truck driver for many years and though I do truly love the trucking industry, I need a switch.  My wife and I sold all the fun items off to pursue the new direction; I gave up working during the days to working at night, solely to afford the time during the day to accomplish my private pilot’s certificate.  It did not happen overnight, and after 7 months of hard work, countless long nights counting mile markers and delivering fuel while everyone else was in bed, I was able to start taking lessons.

                All of this would not be achievable without the support of my wife, Kelley Miller. She has been there from day 1, and it has been a full throttle adventure from when I broke the news to her what I wanted to accomplish.  My wife and I are truly thankful for opportunity granted from the Inter-state Aviation Scholarship and plan to use it to finish up my private pilot certificate, start my IFR rating and build hours to obtain a CFI rating. Thank you very much.

James Durfey

2016 Winner: James Durfey

My passion for aviation started at an early age when my farmer dad required any pilot that sprayed his mint with a helicopter to give me a ride. At age 13, our Boy Scout group took a planned ride on a F-27 Fairchild Turboprop jet transport from Pasco to Yakima in 1962.
Through my youth, I built many model airplanes and read many books on aviation. During my final year in high school, I enrolled in ground school and started learning to fly. At the Prosser airport, Max Hanks and Daryl Jackson purchased a Vought F4U Corsair for $21,000. Having the opportunity to sit in that airplane, and listening to stories from those who flew these airplanes during WWII, is a treasured verbal history I have passed on to my family, many other people and pilots. As graduation loomed, finances made the decision to put money toward college rather than finish learning to fly. Disappointed, somehow I knew the opportunity would return.
After college I started farming, still with the goal of learning to fly, but between starting a family and financial pressure of this young farmer, learning to fly was again was moved further down the priority list. Family took priority but my passion for flying was not diminished.
I have attended many air shows, secured Pappy Boyington's autograph, met Bob Hoover and attended the Reno Air Races twice. From 1973 to 1985 while farming, I would still hang out at the local Prosser airport. This is where I met Walt Whitten, a pilot 25 years my senior. Walt and I became close friends and he took me on many flying trips into the Idaho backcountry. What a treasure to see the rugged and scenic back county of Idaho. I told myself that someday I would return with my own plane.
In 1992, I was employed by the Agricultural Engineering Department at Washington State University to teach in a program called Agricultural Technology & Management (AgTM); the applied segment of Agricultural Engineering. Fast forward to 2016, I now teach eight different classes and advise over 100 students. My passion to fly is laced into the classroom, as many of my students can testify. Several of them have completed ground school through Inter-State Aviation. After completing my private pilot license, my goal is to share the experiences of flight with my students with trips around the Palouse country.
Through the years, my passion for aviation has not diminished but has increased with intensity. In 2014, three of us (myself, my daughter, and a former student) partnered to purchase a plane. It is a 172, vintage 1956, and in very good shape. How cool to learn to fly with your daughter! February 16, 2015 was another monumental day as I "soloed" at Interstate Aviation in Pullman.
I still have more training toward the completion of my private pilot license, but I have passed my written, the medical is satisfied and now it is up to me. With the financial support from Idaho Aviation Association, I know I will attain my pilot's license.
I want to thank the Idaho Aviation Association and the team at Inter-State Aviation for the encouragement and support as I work toward reaching my dream.

David Belt

2016 Winner: David Belt

I was born and raised in San Diego, California then moved up to Longview, Washington for middle and high school. I now go to school at Westminster College in Salt Lake where I am pursuing a major in Aviation Operations. My favorite type of jet is the Dassualt Falcon 7x and my favorite plane that I have flown is the Aeronca Champ. My favorite kind of flying is low level flying anywhere in the mountains. I have received my commercial License and am now working on my CFI.

Colene Sager

2015 Winner: Colene Sager

I am currently working towards my private pilot certificate at Inter-State Aviation, Pullman, Washington. I am honored to be the recipient of the Inter-State Aviation Scholarship for three thousand dollars. My aviation interest began as a passenger with my husband as the pilot. I would ask him, "Where are we flying? How long will it take to fly there? What are we going to do while there?" Now that I am taking lessons, I have fallen in love with flying. I do not care where, how long, or what we are going to do. I just love the experience of flying. We own a Mooney M20C plane, but I have been renting a Cessna 152 from Inter-State Aviation.
I have several goals in aviation. Once I have my private pilot license, I want to gain all the experience that I can. I believe a safe pilot is one who flies frequently. Once I have enough experience in Cessna 152 and 172, I want to fly our Mooney. I also want to share the joy of flying with others. Many people have told me, "I always wanted to learn to fly." I want to be an example that if I can do it, they can, too.
I drive school bus for a small school district in rural eastern Washington. I talk to the kids on my bus about flying. One student who graduated several years ago is working on his commercial license. I am scheduled to give a presentation to the Junior High students with a goal of educating them on the basics of flying plus power point pictures I have taken from our plane.
I believe in general aviation. I also think that most people think it is unreachable for them. Yet they spend money on the toys they think they need: travel trailers, motor homes, motorcycles, 4-wheelers, etc. My husband and I have none of the above but we have traveled in our Mooney to the east coast and landed on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks and many other fun adventures.
Thank you Idaho Aviation Association and Inter-State Aviation for the scholarship that will help me reach my dream.

Maggie Kirscher

2015 Winner: Maggie Kirscher

Update: Since receiving the incredibly generous scholarship from IAA, I have completed both my Commercial License and Instructors Rating. I am currently Flight Instructing at Cochise College and am working on my CFII and Multi Engine Rating. I am extremely thankful to IAA, the community of Sandpoint/ North Idaho, and so many others for helping my dreams to become a reality! I cannot wait to give back to the aviation community in the future and am very excited to see where my next step takes me.

Background: I had the opportunity to "co-pilot" my softball teammate's private Citation Jet when I was in 8th grade for an hour, and from the moment I felt the plane respond to the controls in my hands, I knew I was born to fly. My junior year of high school, I had the opportunity to job shadow a CFI (who turned out to be the single most important influence on my aviation career and I wouldn't be where I am without him) and I got my first lesson in a C172. That summer, I soloed in 7.9 hours and the following summer I obtained my Private Pilot License in just over 40 hours. I also attended EAA meetings, worked at all of our fly-ins, and volunteered at our local aviation museum.
I am now attending Cochise Community College in Douglas, Arizona to obtain my Instrument, Multi-Engine, and Commercial licenses. I obtained my Instrument in December, 2014 and will have my Commercial, Multi, and CFI by July, 2015. I will instruct there until I have 500 hours and begin applying for jobs elsewhere. The total cost for the three licenses I will get is about forty thousand dollars, which is an enormous amount of money to go into debt, especially because my desired field makes very minimal money.
From the very beginning, I have always had my mind set on being a missionary/bush pilot in a third world country. I have met with numerous mission groups, schools, and actual pilots and they all say that having debit is not an option if this is something I truly want to pursue. Throughout my entire flying career I have always had multiple jobs to pay for my hours to stay ahead of the debt.
In five years I hope to have a Bachelors degree in aviation and be building hours by flying for a humanitarian organization and continuing to work myself out of the debt I have incurred. In ten years, I will be flying for an organization overseas to help people have access to things they never could without airplanes and being a spokesperson and advocate for women who are in aviation.
By getting this scholarship I will be able to get out in the mission field faster and begin to help people who do not have access to medical and other life saving supplies. I have always worked for my flying time, and I always will. However, having this scholarship would be a massive boost in getting me where I need to be. I will be a credit to the aviation community for the above-stated reasons, and because I have great drive and enthusiasm. I have always had a burning desire to help those who have less, and coupled with my passion for aviation, I believe I am going to impact the world for the better.

Thomas Westall

2015 Winner: Thomas Westall

Thomas Westall currently holds a Commercial Pilot certificate for airplane single engine land and rotorcraft-helicopters with instrument privileges in both. He possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies earned through the University of Idaho. Through the Idaho Army National Guard he received the opportunity to fly the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter. Upon return to Boise from US Army flight school in 2012, he continued his advanced civilian fixed wing training where he earned his single engine fixed wing instrument and commercial licenses.
Thomas's short term goal is to fly airplanes for various aviation agencies across the State of Idaho in order to increase his experience as a fixed wing pilot. His long term goal is to work towards an Airline Transport Pilot certificate for both helicopters and airplanes. He plans to stay in Idaho and have a career in aviation management where he can continue to fly.
"I am honored to have had the opportunity to fly helicopters for the Guard, and airplanes on the side. I'm truly excited to see what my aviation future has in store for me" Thomas says. He is presently using the scholarship funds to earn his multi-engine commercial add on at Ponderosa Aero Club.

Cody Smisek

2014 Winner: Cody Smisek

I was born in Moscow, Idaho where I am currently enrolled in the Moscow Senior High School and am expected to graduate with the class of 2012. The excitement of aviation was brought into my life at a young age when my father received his private pilot certificate. In the summer of 2011 I passed my private check ride and now hold my own certificate with the help of the Shep Rock Foundation Scholarship. When Iím not flying I like to spend my free time skiing in northern Idaho with my friends and family. In the future I hope to join the Air Force ROTC program and finish college with an engineering related degree, while continuing to pursue an aviation related career.

Phillip Negaard

2014 Winner: Phillip Negaard

On January 16, 1991, Phillip James Negaard was born to Mickel and Ester Negaard in a small farmhouse near Roy, MT. He was the third of four boys. At the age of six his family moved off the farm and into the town of Roy where his parents bought and ran the local grocery store. He lived in Roy through high school where he enjoyed the life of a small town. At age seventeen, between his junior and senior high school years, he began to spend his summers in Port Alsworth, Alaska, working in a hunting and fishing lodge.

During his time in Alaska he was introduced to aviation, as the lodge was a fly-in only lodge. After his third summer of working there he decided to pursue aviation. During the winter of 2010-2011 he went to Hawaii to obtain his private license since the weather in Alaska in the winter was not conducive to regular flight time. After obtaining his private license he returned to Alaska and purchased a plane with hopes of building his hours in order to get his instrument and commercial ratings.

In the summer of 2011 he met his future wife, Jennifer, and at the end of that summer he decided not to return to Alaska. He sold his airplane and started a carpentry business in Montana. There he slowly continued to build flying time at a small airport in Lewistown, Montana.

Phillip and Jennifer were married in Michigan on October 20, 2012 and returned to Montana where they both continued to work in the carpentry business. During this time they were prayerfully considering relocating to an area where Phillip could better continue his passion for aviation. In June of 2013 God opened the door for Phillip and Jennifer to move to Bonners Ferry, Idaho in order to pursue aviation with Northern Air, Inc.

Upon arrival he started his instrument training and was able to complete it in the fall. During that time he was hired on as an apprentice A&P mechanic at Northern Air, where he hopes to become a licensed mechanic and also obtain his commercial and CFI ratings.

The scholarship that he received from the Idaho Aviation Association is going to go a long way in helping Phillip achieve these goals, and he is very thankful and blessed for the generous gift that will help him in aviation.

IAA Scholarship

0 currently available

pdf IAA Scholarship Guidelines

Elizabeth Carter

2019 Winner: Elizabeth Carter

I have always been fascinated by people who went out and got their pilot's licenses.  I have an older brother that started a private rating and a good family friend that had airplanes on his childhood bedroom wallpaper and went on to work for Alaska Airlines today.  For me, I think like many after that first discovery flight you get hooked, I was intrigued and I love to learn new things, I love to have some skillset to be working on.  I have the private and commercial ratings done and will use the IAA/IAF scholarship to assist in my instrument rating.  My favorite thing in life is being a mom to my son and showing him it is fun to get out and go do things-flying is a perfect example of that.  Thank you IAA for assisting me and others in flight training what a great organization to have here in Idaho.

Jordan Nieters

2019 Winner: Jordan Nieters

Hi, my name is Jordan Nieters, I’m 26 years old, and am originally from a little town called Foley, MN. My family moved to Bozeman, MT in 2008 to chase the snow. Our family has always been big into snowmobiling so that’s what brought us to the mountains. Over the last 10 years I worked as a heavy equipment operator for a local construction company. I was able to work in the summer and enjoy my snowmobiles in the winter months. I never thought I would catch the aviation bug being no one in my family has been involved in the industry, but I got hooked after my first flight. After that, it was a matter of figuring out how I could pursue this dream of becoming a helicopter pilot, and it took me about two years to figure it all out.

 I moved down to Idaho primarily to attend Silverhawk Aviation’s Helicopter Pilot Program. I have always loved seeing helicopters come into land or fly by. Whatever the case may have been, I had to drop what I was doing and look up. After my intro flight I spent a handful of money out of pocket training at a local flight school in Bozeman. But after about two months, I needed a new plan as I was running out of money fast. I found Silverhawk and planned for the move for a little over a year where I am able to finance flight training and get it done in a timely manner. I have earned my Private Pilot License and I am currently prepping for my Instrument Check Ride, and then will be going on to my Commercial Training.

I am extremely grateful for the scholarship as it will help fund some of the remainder of flight school. As most students know, financials are the most important aspect to consider when deciding to go to school full time, especially aviation. Thank you, Idaho Aviation Association, for this opportunity and help as I continue to chase the dream of becoming a Helicopter Pilot.

Jessica Millard

2018 Winner: Jessica Millard

Jessica is a born-and-raised Idahoan from the Coeur d’Alene area. She has always enjoyed being outdoors and spending time with her family. For the past 6 years, she has had the opportunity to attend and graduate from the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy with one of the first STEM high school diplomas int he state of Idaho. Jessica has developed a passion for flight and space travel throughout high school as she worked with NASA on a CubeSat team as well as her school’s rocketry team. She has also had the opportunity to work with drones while completing and internship at xCraft UAV in Coeur d’Alene where she had the opportunity to work with powerful flying machines that will have a positive impact on humanity’s future. Jessica is currently enrolled in the Aerospace Engineering program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, and will graduate with her Bachelor’s in 2022. Afterwards, she looks forward to working for space exploration companies like Blue Origin and Rocket Lab, and maybe even starting one of her own in the future. 

Matthew Rose

2018 Winner: Matthew Rose

My name is Matt Rose and I am extremely grateful to have received the IAA Scholarship. This scholarship will play a key role in starting off my career in aviation. I am honored to have been chosen to receive this scholarship. 

I have been interested in aviation for years now and have soloed while working on my private pilot license.  I am 20 years of age and attending Treasure Valley Community College as well as firefighting for PatRick Environmental and working for Valley Air during the summer.  This scholarship is going to help me pursue aviation as a career.

After I complete my private pilot license I would like to get my instrument and commercial ratings. I plan on using this scholarship to fly as an aerial applicator and fly fire planes continuing my career to flying larger aircraft. Of course, this scholarship will also help me to accomplish my dream of visiting all of the backcountry airstrips of the northwest, and help fight to preserve them for future pilots. Flying is an expensive endeavor but the many rewards that it produces outweigh the cost.

Ktrina Cresse

2018 Winner: Ktrina Cresse

Ktrina has had the love of flight her whole life.  She’s a 1995 graduate of Buhl High School and spent a semester abroad in Germany while attending BSU.  She earned her A&P Mechanic certificates from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach in 2001.  Married 20 years, she & her husband have a beautiful daughter, who will be a Senior at Renaissance High School.  Ktrina also volunteers for the IAA & IAF. 

Gavin Klein

2016 Winner: Gavin Klein

Currently, I am a senior at Sandpoint High School, and I will be graduating on June 10, 2016. My family moved to Sandpoint eight years ago, and I love living in such an amazing environment where I can take advantage of everything the area has to offer. I am an avid skier and enjoy hiking fishing, boating, photography and flying. I have had to find a balance between academics and activities, and I clearly see my highest priority right now is striving for a career in aviation.

My grandpa, Lloyd, was a pilot in WWII, and then he became a bush pilot in Alaska because he loved flying so much. I must have inherited his passion for planes and flight! I am currently taking Career Pathways: Aerospace and Private Pilot Ground School, which are classes at Sandpoint High School that are part of an accredited aerospace program. By doing this, it allows me to get flight training and earn high school credits. In the fall of 2016 I will be attending college at North Idaho College and majoring in aerospace to earn an airframe certification. Then, I plan to continue my education and earn a power plant certification, as well as an Associate of Applied Science.

As a full-time student, it is very challenging to come up with the funds to pay for flight time and instruction. This scholarship is making it possible for me to accomplish my dream of becoming a pilot, and it will also give me extra insight and a better understanding of planes and flight in my college classes next year. I am very grateful, and when I am able, I plan to give back by helping other aviation students who find themselves in the same position as I am now.

Dylan Filkins

2014 Winner: Dylan Filkins

Dylan Christopher Filkins was born on December 19,1995 in Fontana, California to the parents of David and Susan Filkins, and shortly his family moved to Boise, Idaho, where they reside still. When Dylan was just a boy, he accompanied his mother to the Boise State University Science department where she worked in biology. There, he was introduced to science concepts which fueled his interest in becoming a scientist. Dylan also acquired a love for the outdoors while he participated in a local Boy Scout troop. During these years, Dylan earned a badge in Aerospace Studies, which sparked a passion for the subject. Pursuing this newfound interest, he enrolled in the Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars program which consisted of a semester-long class and a week long camp at Boise State University, followed by a trip to San Jose, California to the NASA Ames Research Center. Dylan is an intern at T-O Engineers, a local civil engineering business, where he assists with plans for bridges, airports and roads. Dylan plans to go to Utah State University to study Aerospace Engineering and become an officer in the Air Force ROTC.

Jordan Damron

2010 Winner: Jordan Damron

Richard Jordan Lee Damron was born 1/24/91 in Tacoma, Washington to the parents of Kenneth and Joan Damron. During his pre-school years he was considered quiet and very well-liked by all. Jordan was always an excellent student throughout his academic career, and as a second grader was recognized for his leadership and voted President of his class. He was always considered polite, quiet and dependable and led by example.
The family moved to Orofino Idaho in March of 2002 when Jordan was in the 6th grade. While in Orofino he continued his academic excellence up until his graduation in 2009. In high school he was a member of both track and soccer, and he was also recognized as a National Honor Student. After graduation he was awarded a full scholarship from ROTC Army to attend the University of Idaho. As a ROTC student he completed his four years with a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Studies with his GPA averaging 3.4.
As a senior at U of I he was chosen by the ROTC commander to be the Battalion Commander of his ROTC unit. Jordan will be starting his Army career in December, 2013 at Ft. Benning, Georgia. His chosen field will be Armor after which he will then attend Airborne and Air Assault. He wishes still to procure his private flying license while he is in the Army.

Shep-Rock Scholarship

0 currently available

pdf Shep Rock Foundation Scholarship Guidelines

Trey Rogers

2019 Winner: Trey Rogers

Every pilot has a story about who inspired them to soar or when “the bug” bit them. Hearing these stories has always encouraged me and I am excited to tell my own.

My name is Trey Rogers. I am 21 years old, happily married, and father to a 5 month old daughter. Aviation is a new pursuit of mine, but one that is familiar. My dad has been a commercial airline pilot my whole life, but I never pictured myself flying airplanes. After college I became an EMT and was pursuing a career as a Municipal Firefighter. My mind was changed when my dad surprised me with a discovery flight (my first GA flight since I was a baby) and I got bit by "the bug". Having been just newly wed, and the news of a baby on the way, I needed to decide between firefighting and flying. December 2018 is when bought my ground school.

In March of 2019 I began private pilot training under part 61 at the Caldwell Airport. I achieved my PPL four months later and enrolled at Silverhawk Aviation Academy for my instrument rating (part 141). Three months later on October 2nd, I passed my Instrument check-ride. As of writing this, I am preparing for my Commercial Pilot check-ride.

It has been the busiest year of my life, but also the most rewarding. There is nothing like the view or the feeling that flying an airplane provides. I could not have done it or known the joys of aviation without the support of my wife and parents. To them I am deeply grateful. 

I am also grateful for the funds generously provided by the Shep-Rock foundation, as it will help with my flying expenses as I finish my CPL

Shane McKenna

2018 Winner: Shane McKenna

To begin, I would like to thank the Shep-Rock foundation and the Idaho Aviation Association for their generosity in assisting aviators pursue their goals.  I began my aviation journey in 2002 when I was selected to attend flight school for the Idaho Army National Guard.  I spent a majority of my career flying the AH-64 Apache helicopter and have been flying the UH-60 Blackhawk for the past couple years.    I currently have my helicopter ATP and CFII and have a few years left in the military until I reach my 20 years of service at which time I plan on moving on to a second career in the civilian sector.

I had never flown as a passenger or trained in an airplane until January of 2018. After the first few training flights towards my private pilot license, I knew I had found a new passion in aviation.  Since gaining my single engine private pilot license, I have completed my tail wheel endorsement as well as my commercial and instrument airplane ratings.  I am currently attending the C-12 King Air course for the military and will finish up with my multi engine commercial rating.  My goal is to use the scholarship money to get my CFII airplane qualification so I can help to pass on the privilege of flying to as many of my friends, family and prospective aviators as possible.  I also plan on investing time into local schools so kids are made aware that aviation is a genuine possibility for a career.  I have been extremely blessed in my aviation career and look forward to passing it on.  

Brianna Paddon

2018 Winner: Brianna Paddon

The first thing I remember wanting to be as a child “when I grew up” was a pilot. My aunt flies for American Airlines, and I always thought her job was so cool, since she was able to travel around and visit new places, but I never thought I would actually become a pilot. During the summer of 2017, I was working as a gate agent at the Boise Airport, and there were a handful of pilots who came through the airport and planted little thoughts about pursuing that childhood dream of learning to fly (unbeknownst to them). One offered to take me on a discovery flight, and I had no reason not to go. On the discovery flight after we were airborne and I was given flight controls, my smile, and fluttering heart spoke for me; I WAS HOOKED! Seven months, a lot of encouragement and 72 flight hours later I became a private pilot!

I feel so honored to be a recipient of the Shep-Rock Scholarship and will be using the scholarship to finish my instrument rating. I plan to continue on and get my commercial, CFI and CFII ratings at Silverhawk Aviation Academy in Caldwell as well.

Elliot Frisch

2016 Winner: Elliot Frisch

First of all, I would like to thank the Shep-Rock Foundation with everything I have. They have allowed me to complete my dream of flight.

I am working on my private pilot license as of now. My dad has flown nearly 2.1 million miles as an airline passenger and since I was six, he would bring home all of the tickets and memorabilia. This immediately sparked a fire inside of me to become a pilot. I am 17 years old, working on my PPL, hoping to get my multi, instrument, and commercial ratings in the future. Long term, I would
like to be a pilot in the Air Force, accomplishing that through ROTC in college.

My passion is aviation, and I plan on starting an aero club at my high school next year. I am very thankful for this opportunity, and I hope I can do only good with what comes from it. Keep Flying!

Annie Slippy

2016 Winner: Annie Slippy

I am extremely grateful and honored to have been chosen for the Shep-Rock Scholarship. It will be very valuable in helping me in my aviation training. I began my training when I was 14, and now at 17 I am hoping to get my private pilot's license within the next few weeks. Growing up in Sandpoint, Idaho, I listened to stories from my grandpa about his adventures as a commercial bush pilot in Alaska and watched the progress at Quest Aircraft through my dad. They and the rest of my family have greatly encouraged and supported me both financially and motivationally as I have been learning to fly. By the end of this spring I will have completed more than enough credits to enter college as a sophomore this fall. I will be attending Central Washington University, one of very few universities to offer the Professional Pilot Bachelor degree. My goal is to earn a BS degree and pursue jobs as a professional pilot. Long term, I am considering my options, including (but not limited to): flight instructor, commercial airline pilot, missionary pilot, and regional or other piloting. I will likely end up doing most of these at various times on my journey to being a professional pilot. I deeply appreciate the IAA for supporting my dreams through the Shep-Rock Scholarship. With all their and others' help, I have been able to realistically pursue my dream of becoming a professional pilot.

Carly Orr

2015 Winner: Carly Orr

My name is Carly Orr and I am beyond honored to have been chosen to receive the Shep-Rock Scholarship. This scholarship will do so much for me and my future in aviation. At the moment I am working towards my private pilot's license, but there are many more ratings to come. Like my instructor always says, "you're getting your license to learn", and that is exactly what I plan to do, to never stop learning and continually become a better pilot. My interest in aviation started when I was very young, and has always been a dream and goal of mine. My eventual goal is to become an EMS helicopter pilot. It is because of organizations like Idaho Aviation Association and scholarships like this, that I am able to pursue those dreams and goals of that little eight year old girl staring up at airplanes as they flew by.

Katie Nemeth

2015 Winner: Katie Nemeth

My name is Katie Nemeth and I am fortunate to receive the Shep-Rock Scholarship to help me earn my Private Pilot's License. I am training at Interstate-Aviation in Pullman, Washington, after completing the ground school at the University of Idaho. I fell in love with flying and all its possibilities while flying with my dad through the Idaho backcountry attending fly-ins, fundraisers, and discovering remote hiking trails. Flying gives me a new perspective of the world by allowing me to literally take a step back and remember that life is so much more than my one little airplane.
I have hopes to continue my training after getting my Private Pilot certification and earn my tail-dragger endorsement and instrument rating. I am extremely thankful to the Idaho Aviation Association for keeping Idaho's backcountry open to explore and enjoy and helping me achieve a once in a lifetime chance to be one of the few who get to experience Idaho's wilderness from the air.

Kevin Weber

2013 Winner: Kevin Weber

My name is Kevin Weber and I am currently 20 years of age. I've lived in California my whole life and had only become a resident of Idaho a few years back. I will be a junior at Gonzaga University this next fall where I am enrolled in the Army ROTC program. There are plenty of hobbies which I have enjoyed my whole life and include golf, snowboarding and weight lifting. Yet I had never imagined myself within any aviation field as a hobby, or a career. Early in the summer I made the decision to attempt to obtain my private pilot license at Jetstream Aviation. What started as a summer hobby has turned into a whole new passion. I couldn't be happier with my decision and can only dream of the possibilities for myself within aviation in the future. Where I'll be in five years is still a mystery, but one thing is for sure, I will be flying. I now know that aviation is where I want to be and have set a goal for myself to fly with a commercial airline after the military. I am excited for what the future holds, but even more excited to finally hold my private pilots license in my hand. I probably wouldn't be where I am today without the aid and motivation from the Idaho Aviation Association. I am very grateful for the opportunity that the Shep-Rock Scholarship has given me this summer, but even more grateful for the many doors it has opened up in my life.

Brighton Householder

2013 Winner: Brighton Householder

I am Brighton Householder and I absolutely love flying, it is that one thing I can never manage to get off of my mind. I don't know what the future has in store for me, but I do know that it will have to do with aviation in some way.
I am currently 16 years old, and am well on my way to my private pilot license, thanks to the amazing opportunity the Idaho Aviation Association has given to me with this Scholarship. I took my first flight lesson way back when I was 14 with Blake Spry at Glass Cockpit Aviation, I was not even old enough to solo, but from then on out, there was nothing else I would rather be doing at any given time.
Flying has been in my bloodline for multiple generations, my great grandpa flew, my grandpa flew, and my dad flies as well. This is where I believe my knack for flying came from. My plan is to keep working through ratings, and become a MEII, as well as receive my A&P. This scholarship has truly given me a head start on my career as a pilot, and I am very grateful for this opportunity.

Jeremy Feldman

2013 Winner: Jeremy Feldman

I am an Idaho native born and raised in Boise. My passion for aviation began at a young age when I was six and wanted to be the person guiding airplanes to their gates and this passion has persisted throughout my life. This passion led me to serve as the Youth Commissioner on the Boise Airport Commission and study aeronautical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I am also a Midshipman in Naval ROTC and my dream is to become a Naval Aviator. At school I am actively involved in both the Flying Club and student run theater organization and founded the school's debate club. I have had many passions in my life but flying has always been a notch above the rest and also the one I was never sure I could fulfill. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity the Shep-Rock Scholarship has given me to pursue my Private Pilot's License, my passion and my dream.

Tyler Smisek

2012 Winner: Tyler Smisek

I have lived in Moscow, Idaho all my life and am going to be a senior in high school this fall. I love working in my school's metal shop class, and enjoy designing objects in drafting using a computer and sometimes manually doing technical drawings. A long term goal that I have thought about is to design or build an experimental airplane when I get a chance in the future. Fly fishing, hunting, camping, and flying are some of my favorite activities during the summer or when I am not in school. My passion is to earn an engineering degree in college while attending the ROTC program for the US Air Force. Getting selected to be a pilot or navigator would make me extremely enthusiastic. I am thrilled to be awarded this scholarship, and cannot wait to get my private pilot certificate.

Brandon Jones

2012 Winner: Brandon Jones

Hi, I'm Brandon Jones. I am currently working on my private pilot license at Jetstream Aviation in Boise. I am enjoying and loving every single moment of it! My current goal is to get my Flight Instructor ratings and fly for a living! My ultimate lifetime goal is to fly professionally for a major cargo carrier or large corporate aviation firm. I absolutely love what I'm doing and wouldn't think of doing anything else! In addition to flying, I am also working on my general education requirements at Boise State. I am considering transferring to Utah State University next year for their collegiate aviation program, but I am still looking at all of my options at this time. When I am not flying, dreaming about flying, or reading about flying, I am usually out walking my beagle or running. I look forward to running my first half marathon this April. I enjoy the outdoors and really enjoy traveling to new places and meeting new people. I am very grateful for the Shep-Rock Scholarship and I am now one more step closer to achieving my aviation goals! Thanks again, and may strong tail winds bless you all.

Braxton Householder

2011 Winner: Braxton Householder

I am Braxton Householder and I am 17 years of age. Flying has been in my family for several generations. I was introduced by my dad, he was introduced by his dad, and he was introduced by his dad. It could be said my great grandfather started it all. In 2008 my dad started flying remote control planes again and introduced my brother and me to them. That summer I took every chance that I could get to go out to the flying club and fly these small planes. In February of 2011 I took my first real flight lesson. I had flown with my dad before, but this was my first time in the left seat. That was all it took. I was hooked. From this point all I wanted was to fly, but I quickly ran into the problem of the cost required to fly. I did not know what I was going to do, until a family friend told me about this IAA scholarship. The same day I discovered the scholarship I began putting my application together, so I could send it off as soon as possible. Some time passed, and several conversations later I received the scholarship. I was happy beyond words with the distance that I could now cover towards my license with this scholarship. When I am not flying I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, as well as working with technology and anything mechanical, especially anything aviation related.

Zeb Baney

2011 Winner: Zeb Baney

Zeb Baney is an Idaho native whose love of aviation began as a kid when volunteering in the Civil Air Patrol. He later joined the Air Guard and served in Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom. At home he enjoys working, hunting, and spending time with friends in the aviation community. He hopes someday he and his wife can give back to the great people and organizations who have helped him achieve his life-long goal of flying. On 05/02/12 Zeb completed his Private Pilot certification!

SP Air Scholarship

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pdf SP Air Scholarship Guidelines

Amanda Passey

2019 Winner: Amanda Passey

Being raised in Sun Valley, Idaho, I spent a lot of my time in the mountains. As I grew older and participated in mountain biking, backpacking, and skiing, my love for adventure began to grow. Eventually, that led to me learning how to speedfly, a faster hybrid of paragliding. The moment I launched off the mountain and flew, I knew I belonged in the sky. However, it took a few years before I even thought of flying as a career. After dropping out of university and working different jobs to see what I liked, I did my first intro flight in a Cessna. I was hooked. I am so excited to have found a career path that not only makes me happy, but that also allows me to help others. After also trying a test flight in a helicopter, I decided to return to school to continue my education, and get my rotor-wing ratings.

I am looking forward to pursuing an exciting, adventurous career. Growing up in the mountains, I would love to be a heli-ski pilot, or help protect the beautiful earth we live on through fire rescue, and emergency rescues. I am beginning my training at Southern Utah University's wonderful aviation program. I am looking forward to growing as a person, and becoming the best pilot I can be. 

I would like to thank the Idaho Aviation Association for their generous help to accomplish my dreams. I am proud to represent my beautiful home state, and thrilled to take to the skies wherever the amazing field of aviation takes me. 

Ty Svancara

2019 Winner: Ty Svancara

I am greatly appreciative for this scholarship as it will help me to achieve my goal of becoming an accomplished and proficient pilot. I am currently a senior at Potlatch High School and will be graduating in May 2020. Last Christmas I received an introductory flight as a gift and after that I was hooked on flying. I began working on my private pilot license as my senior project, initially at Stout Flying Service in Lewiston and now at Inter-State Aviation in Pullman. I am nearing completion of my private license and have been accepted into the Commercial Pilot program at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake.  In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors and spending time in the woods. I also like to play basketball, lift weights, and tinker with remote control cars and drones.

Ty Svancara

2019 Winner: Ty Svancara

I am greatly appreciative for this scholarship as it will help me to achieve my goal of becoming an accomplished and proficient pilot. I am currently a senior at Potlatch High School and will be graduating in May 2020. Last Christmas I received an introductory flight as a gift and after that I was hooked on flying. I began working on my private pilot license as my senior project, initially at Stout Flying Service in Lewiston and now at Inter-State Aviation in Pullman. I am nearing completion of my private license and have been accepted into the Commercial Pilot program at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake.  In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors and spending time in the woods. I also like to play basketball, lift weights, and tinker with remote control cars and drones.

Matthew DeAnda

2018 Winner: Matthew DeAnda

I’m honored to receive the Idaho Aviation Association SP Air Scholarship. It will be instrumental in helping me further my pilot training and achieve my goal, which is a career in aviation, and teaching and mentoring other aspiring pilots. 

I’m currently enrolled in my last semester of college at Boise State University, where I’m studying communications and political science. In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors and hiking around the great state of Idaho. I recently completed my first half-marathon and plan to participate in future half-marathons and a full marathon one day. In addition to being a full-time student, and hiking and running, I am also a Senior Airman in the Idaho Air National Guard, where I have been serving for the past four years as a crew chief for the A-10 Thunderbolt II. Aviation has always sparked my interest since I was very young. This, and my desire to serve the country, lead me to the military, where my ultimate goal is to fly for an Air National Guard unit in the next several years. Being an experience pilot is an important step toward this goal. I will be forever grateful to the IAA for supporting me.

McKenzie Young

2018 Winner: McKenzie Young

I am an Idaho native, born and raised here in Boise. My passion and love for flying started when I was very young; my first word as a child was “airplane”. I went on my first commercial flight at 17 years old, and I was hooked. I remember getting goose bumps and looking over at my mom and saying “this is what I want to do! I want to fly airplanes!” The rest is history. I came home, did some research, and immediately started to fly. I had major obstacles, but I am proud to say that April 6th 2018 was the day I passed my Private Pilot Check ride at 20 years old.
Getting my license was so much more than just passing the test, as it is for many of us aviators. This was a complete breakthrough for me. I went through so much self-doubt, stress, sleepless nights and heartache through this process. Once I had the courage to test, and I passed, I knew that I was capable of achieving anything I set my mind to. I then proceeded to skydive and launch my own business.
Flying is truly a childhood dream of mine, and my goal is to inspire others to go out there and make their dreams their reality; as I did mine. I could not have done it without the support of my family and my amazing flight instructor, Dale Spindler. I wanted to give up so many times, and he was the only instructor willing to go above and beyond; he never gave up on me. He even flew me the Sulphur Creek Ranch for breakfast to celebrate me getting my license. That is a true instructor.
My next goal is to get my instrument rating, and from there continue to get my ratings. I can see myself flying back country (DUH!) and one day making flying my career. I am so thankful for this scholarship and am beyond excited for what the future holds.

Spence Patrick

2017 Winner: Spence Patrick

I am a private pilot with 300 hours of flight time. I'm using my scholarship to work towards obtaining my commercial license and hopefully an instructors license. I work in the industry helping operations of a small aircraft charter company, SP Aircraft. Aviation has been in my life since 3 weeks old (my first flight). This scholarship has given me a great opportunity to achieve some lifelong goals.