Summertime is a Busy Time for CJP Scholars

From much-anticipated road trips across the country to earning new flight ratings, beginning new job opportunities and pondering next career steps – and even an upcoming wedding! – CJP’s roster of scholarship recipients continues to advance and impress.

Shaddi Abdala: 2021 CJP Bob Hoover Presidential Scholarship – ERAU Daytona

Summer is in full swing and so far it has been an amazing adventure. In early May I decided that I really wanted to take my Transit Connect on a road trip, so I did just that!

CJP Hoover Scholar Shaddi Abdala

With a good friend from high school we planned a 20-day trip across the United States from Lakeland to Los Angeles. We successfully traveled through 10 states and visited nine National Parks. Each park was a new adventure and was spectacular in its own way. We traveled to the lowest point in North America called Badwater Basin, which lies 282 feet below sea level in Death Valley National Park. We also hiked Upper Yosemite Falls which is a very strenuous 7-mile round trip hike to the tallest waterfall in North America in Yosemite National Park. The travel bug inside me flourished and is excited for future adventures.

After our spontaneous road trip I came back to Florida ready for my 6-week internship with American Airlines at their Miami International Airport Hub. I will be working as a Hub and Gateway Operations Intern at MIA and will have the opportunity to work alongside the administration department and see the behind the scenes operations of a major airline. I am excited to have my first experience within the airline industry and explore the opportunities that I encounter. My first day in the office is July 6th so I will be sure to give an update on how it goes these next few weeks!

Brandon Baber: 2017 CJP Bob Hoover Presidential Scholarship – ERAU Daytona

Hello CJP! I hope you all doing great as we approach the midway point of 2021. It has been some time since I last sent an update. I’m proud to say I have reached many milestones, both in aviation and in life, over the past year!


For starters I graduated from ERAU’s Daytona Beach campus in May of 2020! My focus and hard work that I was able to direct to my studies thanks to the scholarship earned me the cumulative GPA of 3.89.

Then on July 4, I proposed to my girlfriend, Andrea Campos, and I’m honored to now call her my fiancé! We are getting married September 3 in Spring Branch, TX. I’m blessed to have reached such an exciting time in my life.

Over the summer I really enjoyed being on a few of Vince Mickens livestreams of “All Things Aviation & Aerospace.” I’ve never been a part of a live show or talk before, so it was a fun experience. I love the show and that I can get so much first-hand knowledge from so many experienced people in aviation.

In February of this year I obtained my CFI Certificate from a flight school in New Smyrna Beach, FL. It was a great moment for me, and I certainly celebrated the accomplishment, but my work was not over.

My next goal was CFII. On March 1, I made the exciting move back to my home state of Texas. I promptly found another flight school located in San Marcos, Coast Flight Training. I officially became a CFII on May 19. I’m excited to be complete with my training, but now the struggle is to get hired as a Flight Instructor. I’ve applied to every school between San Antonio and Austin, but no luck thus far.

I’m now turning my attention to exploring different careers in aviation. If anyone reading knows of any entry level opportunities’ in Central Texas please let me know. Any lead or tip would be more than helpful! I know I’m set to be a pilot, but I’ve always believed in being well rounded so I look forward to learning more about a different aspect of aviation.

Well, thank you for reading and I really hope all CJP members and their families are doing well. I miss getting to speak with you and see all of you at the different events. Thank you for the many things you all have done for me in the past and for the things you still do, such as allowing me to write this update with a joyful heart and continue to feel a part of the CJP community.

Shane Drury: 2021 CJP Bob Hoover Presidential Scholarship – ERAU Daytona

It is with great pleasure to announce to all of you that I am now officially a Commercial Pilot! I took my checkride just last week, and thankfully it went as smooth as could be. It brings me overwhelming joy to finally receive my commercial pilot certificate as this has been a dream of mine ever since I could remember. And even though COVID may had delayed me longer than I would have liked and presented all different types of challenges, I did not let that stop me and now I could not be more ecstatic to receive this certificate. I also wanted to thank all of you at CJP as I do not know where I’d be today if it wasn’t for this organization.

CJP - Shane Drury - Commercial Ticket - 0721a

Other than working towards finishing my commercial checkride, it has been a busy summer academically. This summer I am taking Technical Report Writing through ERAU Worldwide. It’s my first and only summer class that I have had to take during my college career, as it was required for me to take to graduate this upcoming fall. It is definitely very different from taking in-person classes and has taken some adjusting to, but luckily, I have gotten used to it and found a good process to completing my work in a timely manner.

I also look forward to my next and last semester at ERAU, I am enrolled in 18 credit hours taking Airline Operations, Crew Resource Management, Flight Technique Analysis, Operational Applications in Aeronautics, Aviation Law and Introduction to Aerospace Safety. I can’t believe this is my last semester at ERAU, time flies as it feels like I just started here last semester.

With my commercial certificate now obtained, I will then proceed to completing my multi-engine add-on. I plan on beginning this training as soon as I return to Florida, as I have returned home to Louisiana to visit with family. After finishing my multi training I will then proceed to obtain my CFI and begin instructing. Once I have obtained the necessary number of hours, I plan on applying to the airlines as soon as possible. It amazes me to see the airline industry with extreme pilot shortages just after a year ago where almost no one was flying. It thankfully seems to be a better time than ever to be getting in the industry here soon.

Since I have finished my commercial training, I have returned home to Louisiana for some time to visit with friends and family before the next semester begins. While I am home, I will also be taking a couple of trips for pleasure before I return to Florida to resume training, work, and class. I plan on returning to my job at Target once I return to Florida and will work there until I can begin instructing. Thank you all for taking this time to read this update, I hope you enjoyed it!

Caitlin Fuelling: 2020 CJP Bob Hoover Presidential Scholar – ERAU Prescott

Caitlin Fuelling

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend, I spent my time celebrating at a local lake with my friends and family. I have been extremely busy since moving back home to South Dakota, between working on my flight instructor rating and helping with my family business. I have not been able to do as much flying as I would have hoped due to poor weather here, and I have also been kept busy with visiting friends and family that I have not seen in over a year due to COVID-19.

I have decided to pursue flight instructing until I can figure out which career path I want to take. I am debating heavily between joining the Air Force or going directly to the airlines. This has been a large debate in my life since I have moved home, as both options have many benefits. I have also been job searching around the local area and have applied to several tour companies. I am also looking to start rotorcraft training, after some encouragement from some of my helicopter friends at school, which I am very excited about! I want to thank you all for your continued support as I continue my career after graduation, and I cannot wait to keep sharing my accomplishments with everyone.

Susan Schmidt: 2021 Tracy S. Forrest Memorial Flight Training Scholarship – ERAU Daytona

Hello! I hope you all are doing well. The last month for me has been quite eventful. I passed my multi-engine commercial add on check ride, which was the last flight course for me at Embry Riddle. Also, I passed the interview for a flight instructor position at Embry Riddle!

CJP - Hoover Scholar - Susan Schmidt

This is great news, I still have to go through the Standards New Hire class that starts July 12, and then I will be able to start flight instructing come this fall. I’m really looking forward to starting flight instructing, this has been a goal of mine since I was a student pilot. It’s such surreal feeling to finally see it come true.

I know I have said it before, but I honestly can’t say it enough how grateful I am for this scholarship that allowed me to cover the cost of my flight instructor certificates. Thank you again. I can’t wait to see what’s to come this next school year!