SEATTLE, May 19, 2023—The Museum of Flight awarded $238,000 in scholarships to 14 Washington students for post-secondary education and flight training during a ceremony held at the Museum on May 16. The scholarships are awarded each year to students who have participated in The Museum of Flight’s education programs or are enrolled in Raisbeck Aviation High School. The recipients represent a racial and economic diversity of 77 applicants chosen from 27 school districts. The ceremony was emceed by the Museum’s Vice President of Education, Dr. Dana Riley Black, with additional remarks by the Museum’s President and CEO, Matt Hayes.
“The Museum’s education programs are designed to guide students’ inspiration, exploration and preparation of space and aviation topics. These annual scholarships create a unique bridge from the Museum’s programs to the students’ next steps in their education and careers,” said Dr. Black. “The post-secondary STEM education scholarships are opportunities for high school seniors planning to attend a college, university or trade school in science, technology, engineering or mathematics-related fields, and the flight training scholarships provide opportunities for high school students who want to earn their private pilot license—which is an important first milestone for anyone with aspirations to become a professional pilot or aviation industry professional. We are so proud to see that past recipients have since become commercial pilots and aerospace professionals.”
The 14 scholarship recipients represent nine school districts, and they reported their gender as 57 percent male and 43 percent female. Fourteen percent reported eligibility for Free/Reduced lunch. (Detailed data is available upon request.)
Image: 2023 Scholarship recipients at The Museum of Flight awards ceremony. Sean Mobley/The Museum of Flight.
One Frank “Sam” and Betty Houston Post-secondary Scholarship at up to $120,000 towards a degree related to the field of aviation or aerospace.
Five Frank “Sam” and Betty Houston Flight Training Scholarships at $12,000 each for flight instruction to the level of “Single-Engine Land.”
One Alaska Airlines Flight Training Scholarship at up to $12,000 for flight instruction to the level of “Single-Engine Land.”
Two Benjamin L. Ellison Future Pilot Scholarships at up to $12,000 flight instruction that leads to solo, with the possibility of additional funding toward earning a Private Pilot Certificate.
One Aeronautical Science Pathway Scholarship Recipient at up to $3,000 toward flight training and/or post-secondary studies at a university, college, technical school, or other accredited institution of higher education.
One Stephen and Hazel Eastman Memorial Post-secondary Scholarship at $4,000 to offset post-secondary expenses.
One Stuart Knopp Memorial Scholarship Recipient at $5,000 to offset post-secondary expenses.
One Jim and Sue Johnson Post-Secondary STEM Education Scholarship Recipient at $5,000 toward STEM-based scholarship pursuits with opportunity for renewal.
One Reba Gilman Endowed Scholarship Recipient at $5,000 to offset college expenses.
2023 Frank “Sam” and Betty Houston Post-Secondary STEM Education Scholarship Recipient | Up to $120,000 towards a degree related to the field of aviation or aerospace:
Cilicia Diaz is a senior at Tahoma High School in the Tahoma School District. She is currently enrolled in the Museum’s Aeronautical Science Pathway program (ASP). Her future career plan is to become a commercial airline pilot. She received the Aeronautical Science Pathway Scholarship in 2022 and used those funds to begin her flight training in March 2022. After eight months of training, she earned her Private Pilot License.
“On the majority of flights I have taken, I had only ever seen white men or rarely, a white woman, on the flight deck. I cannot wait for the day a little girl walks onto my flight, looks over, and sees a woman of color in control of the flight. Being a role model for women around the world is the core reason this career is made for me.”
2023 Frank “Sam” and Betty Houston Flight Training Scholarship Recipients | Up to $12,000 each toward earning a Private Pilot license:
Myla Fox is a senior at Tahoma High School in the Tahoma School District, she previously participated in the Museum’s Private Pilot Ground School program (PPGS). Fox plans to be a commercial pilot and has passed her FAA Written Exam.
“I was so lucky to have found this free ground school program, because like other kids who can’t afford the expensive world of flying, I had always just ignored those nagging thoughts and pushed aviation away. Now that I know I am capable of enjoying and succeeding in this field, I have decided that I will find a way.”
Sterling Norris is a senior at Bellarmine Preparatory School and resides in the Clover Park School District; she previously participated in the Museum’s Private Pilot Ground School program (PPGS). Norris’s long-term career goal is to be a commercial airline pilot.
“Honoring my younger self’s dream, I know my life will be in the air. I want to know that feeling of people feeling confident aboard my plane with me as their pilot. I want to inspire other girls and raise the number of female pilots way higher than 29.3% and female pilots of color (Native American and Hispanic) as am I. I want to be an example for those women from basic, middle-class backgrounds who dare to dream.”
Robert Peterson is a junior at Foster High School in the Tukwila School District; he previously participated in the Museum’s Private Pilot Ground School program (PPGS) and is currently enrolled in its Aeronautical Science Pathway course (ASP). Peterson’s long-term career goal is to be a captain of a large aircraft while transporting either goods or people.
“ASP has been beyond beneficial to me, I am surrounded by peers with the same passions and interests who only push each other forwards never backward, I am mentored by a very knowledgeable and experienced person who also has the same interests and is there to support. Through these programs, I am best set up for success on the path I am walking, and is giving me a major head start in aviation and working towards my goals.”
Owen Teodoro is a senior at Raisbeck Aviation High School in the Highline School District. He is currently enrolled in the Museum’s Aeronautical Science Pathway program (ASP). Teodoro plans to be a commercial airline pilot and hopefully, one day, fly for the National Parks Service.
“It’s not always easy remembering how unique of an experience I am getting from an aviation-focused high school and through a program like ASP. I get to eat lunch under a B-52, watch planes take off all day in class, and have many friends that already have their Private Pilots License. I have received a foundation in aviation that other students in “normal” classes don’t.”
Hailin Truman is a senior at Raisbeck Aviation High School in the Highline School District. He has interned at the Museum’s Pathfinder Gala for the past two years and was an attendee prior to that. Hailin intends to major in Aerospace Engineering and hope to innovate and design aircraft and possibly spacecraft in the future. Hailin was the first ever High School Intern for the Boeing Company’s engineering team.
“Overall, The Museum of Flight has changed my world. It has led me down the path of aviation and instilled in me the dream of one day floating in space.”
2023 Alaska Airlines Flight Training Scholarship at up to $12,000 toward earning a Private Pilot license:
Rhys Nelson is a senior at Raisbeck Aviation High School in the Highline School District. He is currently enrolled in the Museum’s Aeronautical Science Pathway Program (ASP). Nelson plans to attend Green River College and earn a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science with the long-term goal of becoming a Commercial Airline Pilot.
“I am dedicated to furthering my education in the aviation industry and am looking forward to putting these skills into practice to become a pilot my family will be proud of, and even more importantly, I will have the chance to be doing something I love in an industry that continues to show promise, financial and job security, as well as growth.”
2023 Benjamin L. Ellison Future Pilot Scholarship Recipients | Up to $12,000 each toward earning a Private Pilot license:
Zane Johnson is a junior at Tahoma High School in the Tahoma School District. He is currently enrolled in the Museum’s Aeronautical Science Pathway program (ASP) and has previously participated in the Museum’s Private Pilot Ground School program (PPGS). His long-term career goal is to be an Airline Transport Pilot for either cargo or passengers.
“I think The Museum of Flight is an extremely important building to maintain, as it is the place I first found my passion for aviation. Ever since I was young, I was always looking for the planes I could hear soaring over me.”
Henry Dejanikus is a sophomore at Lakeside School in Seattle. He is a Museum Volunteer and will be attending the Museum’s Private Pilot Ground School program (PPGS) this summer.
“The Museum of Flight fuels my fascination for anything flying more than I can describe. From an early age, I remember trips with my mom or dad to the Museum, walking up the stairs into the Queen of the Skies, or standing next to the sleek and long blackbird. These trips fostered and enriched my passion for aviation, and truly, the museum is, more than anything else, the reason I want to fly.”
2023 Jim and Sue Johnson Post-Secondary STEM Education Scholarship Recipient | $5,000 toward STEM-based scholarship pursuits with opportunity for renewal.
Nicole Piedrahita is a senior at Everett High School in the Everett School District. She previously participated in the Museum’s Washington Aerospace Scholars program (WAS). Her future career goal is to become a Propulsions Engineer and to find a sustainable way to fuel rockets.
“I also know that the aerospace field needs a bit more diversity. As someone of Colombian descent, I want to inspire girls and young women of diverse backgrounds to follow their aerospace goals. Being involved in an aerospace career would make it easier for me to help others since I could serve as a mentor or a reference. I hope I can show others that overcoming stereotypes and difficulties is possible and that there is space for them.”
2023 Aeronautical Science Pathway Scholarship Recipient | $3,000 toward flight training or post-secondary education:
Edan Tsegaye is a senior at Kentridge High School in the Kent School District. She is currently enrolled in the Museum’s Aeronautical Science Pathway program (ASP). Her future plans are to work as an aerospace engineer at a space exploration-based company and design spacecraft.
“Participating in this program [ASP] has enhanced my learning in ways that I never imagined possible. Through the participation of this program I have been immersed in a highly interactive environment with interactive exhibits, lectures, and discussions as well as hands-on activities and simulations that have provided me with a variety of opportunities to gain a greater understanding of the principles and practices of aeronautics and science.”
2023 Stephen and Hazel Eastman Memorial Scholarship Recipient | $4,000 toward post-secondary education:
Hunter Trujillo is a senior at Auburn Riverside High School in the Auburn School District, and he is a Running Start Student at Green River College in Auburn. He previously participated in the Museum’s Michael P. Anderson Memorial Aerospace program (MPA) and the Washington Aerospace Scholars program (WAS). Trujillo’s career goal is to become a commercial airline pilot.
Referencing the Museum’s MPA event he said, “I remember being excited about the information we were learning, enjoying the small group of peers that I spent the day with, and in awe when we had the chance to meet a real-life astronaut. I came home from that event and asked my parents to frame the photo we were given along with my certificate of completion from the program.”
2023 Stuart Knopp Memorial Scholarship Recipients | $5,000 toward post-secondary education:
Abigail Krawcyzk is a senior at Shorecrest High School in the Shoreline School District. She has previously participated in the Museum’s Aerospace Camp Experience (ACE), Aeronautical Explorations program (AE), and Washington Aerospace Scholars program (WAS). Krawcyzk’s long-term career goal is to become an aerospace engineer and fly planes in her free time.
“I have long been fascinated with aerospace and aviation, and through my experiences at school, have also fallen in love with engineering. I love creating and problem-solving, and engineering is a direct fruition of that. When considering my future and my long-term plans, it only makes sense for me to pursue the combination of my two loves: aerospace engineering. I hope to follow that age-old adage of ‘love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.’”
2023 Reba Gilman Endowed Scholarship Recipient | $5,000 to offset college expenses:
Ali Karim is a senior at Raisbeck Aviation High School (RAHS) in the Highline School District. In the future, Ali hopes to use data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to transform outdated technology and data collection methods to create better simulations, do more in-depth data analysis, and create new computational modeling programs to better explore our solar universe. Karim co-founded a non-profit called Balanced Media, a platform to encourage healthy conversations and bipartisanship in a politically divided America. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer.
“Creating this nonprofit wouldn’t have been possible without the connections, staff, and mentors available to us through school. Without the support of my RAHS community, a community I only found through The Museum of Flight, I would still be the shy and timid kid who never followed his dreams.”
Photos and detailed bios of each recipient are available upon request through The Museum of Flight. Data is also available detailing the applicants’ school districts, gender and eligibility for free/reduced lunch programs.
The Museum of Flight’s Boeing Academy for STEM Learning
All education programs at The Museum of Flight operate under the umbrella of
The Boeing Academy for STEM Learning, which was created in 2015 through a major investment by The Boeing Company and Mr. and Mrs. William E. Boeing, Jr. From pre-kindergarten to college prep and career readiness programs, the Academy provides unparalleled learning opportunities for students to explore and prepare for education and career pathways in aviation and space.
The Academy strives to accelerate opportunities for all youth, with particular focus on those populations underrepresented in aviation and space, by connecting them to fulfilling, in-demand STEM careers. The Academy operates in partnership with schools, community-based organizations, government, business and industry to ensure that the next generation of workers are ready to lead and innovate.