CJP Bob Hoover Scholar Updates
Good evening, everyone. First, I hope you are all safe and doing well during this trying time with the coronavirus. It has become a real hurdle that the world has to overcome. The aviation industry took a devasting blow, but we are a resilient family that will rebound and come out stronger than ever. In February, before the pandemic started to travel across the country, I was still at school, working towards my Commercial Pilot Certificate. I poured every ounce of my energy into earning the certificate, and eventually, all the hard work paid off, and I became a commercial pilot on February 24. This achievement could not have come at a better time as Spring Break was only a few days away and I was already conditioning my mind for some well-deserved rest.
I decided to spend my Spring Break back home in Jamaica with my family, where I had an abundance of my favorite meals and people. Little did I know I would be getting a very extended vacation. My weeklong trip has turned into two months and counting. Just a few days after I landed in Jamaica, the COVID-19 situation in America really ramped up and schools across the country began to close their doors and move into an online environment. Though it was a difficult move for Embry-Riddle as a lot of what we do at school is through direct interaction, we made the move and it worked out well. I personally prefer face to face learning but like everyone else, I adapted and made the most of it. I ended up finishing the Spring 2020 semester with all A’s in my five classes, scoring a spot on the Dean’s List as well as a 4.0 GPA.
That’s not all. In my last newsletter update, I mentioned a very selective CFI program offered by Embry-Riddle in the summer. Well, I’m pleased to announce that I was accepted into the program. Despite the doubt and gloom cast by corona, these milestones have helped raise my spirit. Now my focus has turned to finding a way to leave Jamaica and get back into the U.S.. The task is proving somewhat of a challenge as Jamaica’s borders have been closed for some time, with a plan to reopen by the end of May. Life has a way of working itself out, so I will keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Thank you again for your support this semester – I could not have done it with your help. Please stay safe and well.
Unfortunately, these past couple months have been completely unprecedented due to the rise of the coronavirus pandemic. This virus has unfortunately caused immense complications and challenges for me during these times, but I have been able to overcome these complications to the best of my ability. One of the biggest complications this virus has caused for me is the disruption in my flight training (as it has for most). I was on track to finish the commercial course at Embry-Riddle before this semester’s end, but due to the closure of the flight department on campus for the entire month of May, I was unable to finish my commercial course. As all in the aviation industry have been severely hurt from this horrid pandemic, the only thing we can do is stay strong and work together as the strong community we are to get this industry back on track. As far as my current flight training plans go, I plan to finish the commercial course before the end of the summer, and then proceed to the commercial-multi add-on course in the fall semester.
As for academics, the transition to the online learning environment was very smooth for the most part. Of course, online learning doesn’t provide the same level of instruction as in-person instruction, but my professors were able to handle the transition to the online environment very well. I was still able to complete all assignments and projects on time with very little complications. My professors also held Zoom lectures to keep classes engaged and to provide any support we may have needed for our classes. I was able to finish my commercial ground school course with an A in the class, which was very fortunate as that was the only class I was unable to elect the Pass/Fail option. As I did elect to Pass/Fail the rest of my classes for this semester, I was still able to make good grades for the end of the semester and did not use that as an excuse not to complete my work. The reason for choosing that option though, is that I currently have a high GPA and this was the safest option to keep a higher GPA, as I was fully unable to calculate my final grades when we had to choose the Pass/Fail grading option.
One of the biggest challenges for me this semester as a result of the coronavirus is my employment. As you know, I work for the Information Technology department at the university, and to start, they cut our hours severely. This was because the department excessively purchased laptops to issue as loaners to faculty, staff and students. And unfortunately one of the places the money had to come from was the student employment budget. After this, the department then cut all student employees due to the stay-at-home order issued by the Governor of Florida. While not having a job would make things very difficult for me, I didn’t let that stop me, and I was very fortunate and able to get hired at the local Target. I currently work there as a temporary employee and will return to my primary job once our department is back in operation at the University.
While this semester has brought on new challenges that no one could have ever expected, we adapt and conquer these challenges, and will no doubt come out as stronger people.
First, I would like to thank everyone who helped contribute to the CJP scholarship fund and allowed me to be awarded the Bob Hoover Presidential Scholarship for 2020. This scholarship has made all the difference in the world; it is as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I spend countless hours researching and applying for new scholarships to fund my schooling, and I never thought I would receive one that made as big of an impact as this one. Every individual who contributed to the scholarship fund has made such a positive impact on my life and I wish I could thank everyone personally. Receiving this scholarship has been a ray of light in a somewhat uncertain and gloomy time.
As of last week, I have finished my junior year at Embry-Riddle, and I am excited to hopefully return to campus this fall for my senior year. The sudden transition to online classes was somewhat difficult for me because each class on campus has a very hands-on learning environment which I thrive in. While classes were certainly different for the final portion of the spring semester, my teachers did an amazing job providing all of the material we needed to succeed in each course. Along with the challenge of classes being moved online, flight training at the Prescott campus has stopped as well. The last day I flew was March 14, and I am antsy to return to training as I am in the middle of my commercial single course. While I hope all of the students can return soon, I appreciate the precautions the Prescott flight department is taking to ensure the health and safety of its students and staff.
Currently, I am back home in South Dakota waiting to resume flight training and trying to keep myself busy, as I’m sure most of you are as well. I am somewhat lost right now. Usually, I am kept very busy between classes, flight training, and working part-time at the local YMCA. I have continued to keep up on my training by studying for my commercial check ride and completing study material provided by the flight department. I am excited to share more information soon, and hopefully share new progressions in my flight training! Stay healthy and safe!
I hope everyone is doing well despite the pandemic. This year was off to a great start until COVID-19 threw a wrench in everyone’s plans. Like other schools, Embry-Riddle switched to online classes upon return from spring break. Although classes switched to electronic means, I stayed on campus to continue flight training. A few weeks later, the flight line at our Prescott campus closed, and students moved out of the dorms. I have spent the rest of the semester at home in Cave Creek, Arizona.
By the end of this semester, I planned to have my commercial single-engine rating. Unfortunately, that was not possible with the flight line closure. I have continued to stay in touch with my instructor to prepare for my upcoming check ride. Once the flight line reopens, I will be back to complete my new rating. Since I have been at home the past month, I have been able to work on the Helio Courier project. Each day I learn more about aircraft structure and maintenance. We recently completed a dye penetrant inspection of the wing attachment fittings. This process allows us to see any cracks or other defects in the metal. The inspection went well, and the next step is to reattach the wings to the fuselage.
Before the shutdown, I flew to Durango, Colorado, for my solo-cross country. The flight was six and a half hours round trip, my longest solo flight thus far. One of the mountain ranges on the way there still had snow, which was a cool sight. Once I got fuel and a bite to eat, I headed for Winslow, Arizona. After a couple laps in the pattern at Winslow I returned to Prescott. The whole day was a blast to say the least. Now towards the end of single-engine training, I am eager to begin multi-engine training in the DA-42. I am still on track to graduate in the fall of 2020 as I only have a semester worth of credits left to take. Some of my classes will include Flight Technique Analysis and Electronic Flight Management Systems. I look forward to these classes as my final college semester approaches.
During spring break, I received a call from Cheryl Hardy. To my amazement, she informed me I was selected as a recipient of the 2020 Bob Hoover Presidential Scholarship! I cannot describe how thankful I am to receive this scholarship not once, but twice! My family and I greatly appreciate this award and your continued support of my future as a professional pilot. This scholarship has allowed me to continue flight training at Embry-Riddle to pursue my passion. Thank you all who make this scholarship possible for aspiring professional aviators. I am honored to be a part of the CJP community and am looking forward to our next meeting!
Update from the Blue Sky Foundation
by Lee Siudzinski
April 7, 2020 – The scholarship for 20 Sanford Middle School students to attend the National Flight Academy for April 3-5, 2020 will be re-scheduled based on the Coronavirus.
When the dates are determined, I will notify you. All value for the scholarship has been retained and will be used once the event is rescheduled. ($12,000)
To date, Garret Graf, has obtained his PPL. In addition, 4 students have passed the Private Pilot written examination. A second flight scholarship student from Grand Prairie, TX, Troy Broussard, has begun his flight training and is currently studying for his Private Pilot written examination. When the restrictions are lifted, he will take the written examination. I will report to you the results when available. The goal is to have this second student solo with the remaining pilot training scholarship funds. ($7,500 + $10,000)
The process of working with the Sanford Middle School teachers and administration continues to be a rewarding experience. Chick Gregg’s involvement has been a great support for this process and provided him an opportunity to meet all students and parents involved. At our student/parent informational meeting this year, he shared with the students and parents that this special aviation program is being sponsored by the Citation Jet Pilots Association.
I will provide you with an update when the trip to the National Flight Academy is complete and all flight scholarship funds have been spent.
It has been a pleasure for Blue Sky to work with CJP and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the support of youth in aviation.