Avfuel has released its 2020 scholarship class, including recipients of the 22nd Annual AVTRIP Scholarship—Philip Kost and Megan Stumbo—and the 3rd Annual Avfuel Pilot-in-Training Scholarship—Cassandra Gultom, Lyndse Costabile and Brentin Wilson.
Kost, as primary recipient of the AVTRIP Scholarship, will receive $2,000 to complete the National Business Aviation Association Certified Aviation Manager exam, which will help develop his role as a leader in the business aviation community.
“I am thankful to Avfuel for having been selected as a recipient of the AVTRIP Scholarship and for the team’s hard work at organizing the scholarship opportunity,” said Kost. “And above all, I’m thankful for the opportunity to grow as a leader and give back to the industry that’s given me so much.”
Kost, a pilot and director of safety based out of Carlsbad, California, aspires to be a represented member of the Southern California Aviation Association and help inspire the next generation of aviators as a mentor and through educational activities in his local community.
“I believe it is my responsibility to pass the trade I am learning onto the next generation of aviation professionals,” said Kost. “In an industry that is already motivating, most of the spotlight is cast on the airlines. However, I feel that there is meaningful and rewarding work to be done in business aviation. I hope to be a mentor to new pilots and up-and-coming aviation professionals entering the business aviation workforce.”
Stumbo, of Holland, Michigan, will use her $500 AVTRIP Scholarship to obtain a master’s degree in business administration. Stumbo’s ultimate goal is to own a flight school and FBO with a nonprofit that provides discovery flights and scholarships for girls.
In addition to the AVTRIP Scholarship, Avfuel awards scholarships to aspiring aviators through the Avfuel Pilot-in-Training Scholarship.
Gultom, of Aurora, Colorado,will use the $1,500 Avfuel Scholarship to complete her checkride. Doing so will bring her one step closer to realizing her goal of establishing a medical aviation organization in Alaska.
“Rural Alaska is one of the places that still struggle with getting medical care,” said Gultom. “Because of the geography of Alaska, many of the villages do not have roads to connect them. Even Alaska’s capital, Juneau, is not connected by any major roads and is only reachable by boat or aircraft. I will use aviation as a means to provide medical care to those in need.”
Toward this goal, Gultom has already earned an associate’s degree with a concentration in pre-medical studies, is working toward a bachelor’s degree in aviation and, afterword, will apply for medical school. Prior to medical school, Gultom plans to obtain her private pilot license (PPL), instrument rating, commercial license, complex aircraft endorsement, CFI license and multi-engine rating.
“Flying has always been a team effort,” said Gultom. “It was a pair of brothers who made the first airplane. Thank God I also have a team of people who made me into the pilot I am today. It is thanks to family, friends, my flight school—Andrews University, and Avfuel Corporation that I get to realize my dream of becoming a pilot. We are a team, and team members help each other out. In exchange for helping me become a pilot, I will do my best to become a dependable pilot that people can place their hope in and trust their lives with.”
Costabile, of Knightdale, North Carolina, will use her $1,000 Avfuel Scholarship to complete her PPL training. In her current role, Costabile supports airshow talent, Part 91 operations, facilitates youth outreach and works closely with FBOs. A PPL will help her more effectively support these efforts and continue her work helping youth through her program, From Sacrifice to Soaring, and the non-profit she co-founded, Aviation Influence.
Wilson, of Newton, Alabama, will use her $500 Avfuel Scholarship to attain a PPL. Already an experienced maintenance technician, Wilson looks forward to expanding her role in the aviation industry by attaining all pilot
ratings, completing 250 hours of flying and pursuing a career as a flight instructor by the end of 2021. One day, she hopes to become an air transport or cargo pilot.
Avfuel released scholarship applications four months earlier than scheduled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to allow ample time for candidates to gather their materials, formulate their responses and apply—particularly as many aviators found themselves grounded in the spring and looking at professional development opportunities. The result was an applicant pool more than double 2019’s numbers.
“Even in its 22nd year, this scholarship program continues to inspire me,” said Marci Ammerman, vice president of marketing for Avfuel. “This year’s pool of applicants was incredibly strong, making for an exceptionally competitive scholarship class. We are thankful for the stories they shared with us, and we are inspired by their passion and hopes for the aviation industry. The future looks bright, and we are honored to help five such promising aviators in achieving their admirable goals.”