ProJet Aviation leader Shye Gilad told a hangar packed with young people how a cadre of college friends pooled $400 to help him pursue flight training when he was working in a restaurant and scraping coins together to make ends meet. “That was my first scholarship,” Gilad told them as he paid it forward and helped award $354,441 during the fourteenth annual Aviation Education and Career Expo in Leesburg, Virginia, November 1.
He encouraged about 1,000 enthusiastic students to pursue aviation because he said it would help develop their “character, confidence, and decision-making skills," which are common to fellow aviators.
“Passion is contagious,” echoed event founder Julie O'Brien, who beamed with pride as young people claimed scholarships ranging from $500 to $34,440 to help pay for college tuition, fees, and flight training. “Today is about launching your education, your career, and your passion,” she told them. The program has awarded more than $4 million since it began with a handful of students and a few big-hearted donors.
“You can do anything if you have the passion to do it,” said retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joe Tate, a former Air Force One pilot instructor. “You cannot imagine all the wonderful things that can happen” if you put your mind to it, he said. READ MORE (AOPA)