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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Flight Scholarship

"I want a scholarship!
Will you pay for my flying?"

I receive many of these types of questions. While I would love to help, I keep thinking about the butterfly theory.

One day I will be able to provide scholarships and would love to help a deserving pilot earn their wings, or a student with a thirst for education to attend college, when life has thrown them into a typhoon and the headwinds are too strong to fly.

The reality is... that those who ask for money are usually the last to receive the money.

I have had the opportunity to be on the selection process of many scholarships. Who are the recipients? I think it's time to share a little insider knowledge. 

Who Wins the Scholarship?

Those who:
  • Are leaders in their communities, giving of their time, and effort.
  • Have worked (sometimes multiple jobs) to make ends meet. 
  • Have achieved success, despite all obstacles.
  • Have proven they won't allow the opportunity to be wasted. 
  • Display dedication and accomplishment. 
  • Are optimistic, positive, and motivated. 
  • Always work toward their goals. 
  • Have a well written essay.
  • Give more than they take. 
  • Follow directions. 
  • Focused. 
Scholarships are out there. It is up to you to find them. That in itself is part of the putting in the effort. Nothing in life is free. But for those willing to work hard, there are many people willing to help. The extended hand asking for a free ride without the effort, does not cut it. I personally know too many young people who are working hard toward their dreams, that are deserving of these awards. Those students would be on my scholarship list.

What are your feelings about scholarships? If you have not been able to receive one and you fit the profile above, share your experience. We can help point you in the right direction.

For everyone else, what qualifications would you expect before you would award someone a scholarship?

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. Thanks for your grateful informations, this blogs will be really help for students scholarships.

    1. Abi, You are so right... those are great links. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Karlene, now that I've had a proper coffee I will respond. Your post echoes thoughts through my head on this topic. While it never hurts to ask, I must say that on a personal level, I feel a sense of shame to have to ask another person for money. Yes, I've had to do it in life but only to borrow from close friends who I know are able to lend it.

    To ask someone to pay for something for me takes away a sense of self, of Independence, and I feel a lack of self worth. We all have to work hard in this world to land our successes. You definitely have shown us what hard work, motivation, and determination will do and that's why we admire you. That's what I am taking from you: the lessons I am learning from your motivation and hard work and applying them to my own life. To work hard, strive, an to eventually land success..

    1. Jeremy, I know exactly what you mean about taking away from self-worth. I have so many people asking me to pay for their flight training. I wondered, would they become good pilots and have all the skills if they were just given, without some element of effort? And I wonder... would I be doing a positive thing or a negative thing by giving? Not that I have the means to pay for flight training for someone at this time in my life.

      It takes a very strong person to ask for help in the time of need. But from close family and friends. People who know you. As they know your integrity and character and that it is a loan, and they are happy to help.

      Your final comment brings a tear to my eye. Thank you. I know you will make it. It's so much fun learning from each other.

      Thank you for the incredible comment.

  3. This is soo true in i have applied for pilot cadet programmes & the interview given is PILAPT(pilot aptitude test) &Morrisby test.... You should be good in Maths,Physics & medically fit and ready to learn in a competitive enviroment.Nothing comes easy(The applicant should PPRuNe sites to add some knowledge)....My point is "Nothing comes easy" & am hoping to join the sky team one day....

    1. Nothing comes easy because it's not supposed to be. You will get there for sure! I know it. Just keep pressing forward. Thank you for your comment!

  4. KAR, what a great post. It pretty much applies to life...and to airline pilot's kids. I remember the guys telling me that their kids were on airline pilot welfare and were in for a rude awakening once they were grown. They were so used to traveling all over the world First Class, and everything being handed to them that they thought it was real life.

    I never had a scholarship, but my parents helped me immensely and I sincerely appreciate it.

    ISA has scholarships, and we hope they go to the best applicants!

    1. Thank you so much Kathy. We certainly have scene all sorts of situations with pilot kids for sure. And thank you so much for the link to the ISA Scholarship, too!

  5. Fantastic points, Karlene! This is excellent insight and advice to anyone with ambition. If it doesn't come from inside yourself, it's never going to be as good as you can make it.

    1. Linda, isn't that the truth! We know that with writing too. We could hire someone to write our stories, but then they wouldn't be ours. It must come from within. Thank you for your comment!

  6. Comment from Craig:

    For reasons that are far beyond my understanding, I still cannot successfully post a reply on your blog.

    Today’s post about scholarships and grants is spot-on and I hope the some of the seekers read your words with care.

    I’ve sponsored a modest scholarship in another profession for now more than twenty years. The college has a small, standing committee to evaluate each season’s flow of new applicants. They – and I – look for exactly the same character components that you list and they also do some fact-checking. Why? In the early years we fell victim for a couple of very creative writers and, in one case, a small group who employed professional assistance in ‘creating’ their short essays. We have since dropped the essay requirement and now ask applicants to simply explain why we should support their educational goals, one semester at a time. After a semester or two, we come to know these kids students and our error rate is close to zero. In short, know who you are supporting and down to their shoe size and typical diet. At some point in the process, some member of the award committee should make personal contact with the applicant and validate a few things. (In our case, we make very few awards; those granted are substantial. We have the means to look under the bed-skirts before we make an award and yup. We do exactly that.

    I’m not suggesting that every grant for advanced pilot training need to be investigated to that degree; far from it. Most applications can be sorted on the basis of their original materials. That last batch to pass muster, perhaps 1.5 per award, must be thoroughly vetted. A few will drop out when asked to provide a few proofs and a few might apologize for over stating their qualifications. When down to the final cut, I think it better to allow an award to be withheld, than to give it to the wrong applicant. After the hiccups of our first couple of years and some wasted money, we now enjoy a perfect graduation rate. For the last seven years, ALL of our sponsored students have graduated, on time, and have passed their national licensing examinations.

    This little scholarship fund is – well it is little! The vast majority of the support is mine and my ‘board’ agrees that we should fact-check virtually every claim made by our finalists. We, we do and doing so has helped us to focus on our primary purpose. We firmly believe that every student who receives our support is worthy and that they have been absolutely honest with us. In our view, it is better to not make an award than to make one in error. While that may seem a bit tight, our awardees over the most recent seven years, have never disappointed us. One hundred percent graduation; one hundred percent passing national board exams and most are fulfilling their professional obligations.

    If t here is a take-home here, Karlene, it is that when giving money, check the facts. Check ALL of the details offered as fact. In the end, you won’t have to flip any coins about awardees and your (or your board’s) choices will be crystal clear.

    Sorry about the long dissertation. I would tell every applicant, right up front, that should s/he make the final cut, every single claim will be verified. If the board is not able t o validate an important claim, no award will be made. Period.

    1. Craig, Thank you so much for this long dissertation. Sometimes we need the extra words to share the point. Excellent stuff here.

      Also... the posting dilemma. What if you made a free gmail account and post with that. I wonder if that would work?

      Thank you for taking the time to comment!


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