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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.