Friday, 7 May 2021
An Afghan Morgan Hill Aviation student attending San Jose State University and who seeks a career in aviation; anda Stanford University Engineering student and Air Force ROTC cadet who is learning to fly with the hopes of sharing her passion with youth; each received a $1,250 scholarships sponsored by the South County Airport Pilots Association (SCAPA), a non-profit San Martin organization dedicated to preserving the San Martin Airport and providing disaster airlift relief in times of emergency.
Rahmatullah Yousafzai of Morgan Hill endured a traumatic upbringing in war-torn Afghanistan, escaped to Pakistan for five years, and now resides the U.S. where he is attending the San Jose State University Aviation program and is getting very good grades. In his own words, he has “had to try ten times harder than other students who can take most of their academic background for granted, like fluency in English.” Rahmatullah is seeking a career in the aviation industry, and hopes to some day be a pilot for the airlines.
Athena Chang of San Jose is studying Mechanical Engineering with a 3.8 GPA at Stanford University and is an Air Force ROTC cadet. She works several jobs while taking a full load of classes, and is currently taking flight training with an instructor in a Van’s RV-12iS experimental aircraft. A young woman of Taiwanese descent, she strives to be selected for the US Air Force’s Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) Program. In her own words: “I want to be a role model and trailblazer in the industry, just like the minority female pilots and astronauts who came before me and inspired my journey. My mission? To boldly go where no woman has gone before.”
The two scholarship awardees were selected by the SCAPA Board of Directors from an impressive field of applicants, basing their selection on applications which demonstrated motivation, achievement, and financial need toward their future in aviation. Candidates currently enrolled in a flight training program or an aviation maintenance program in the Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey County areas were eligible to apply.
The SCAPA Scholarship program is an annual event made possible by the generous support of the individual members of SCAPA.
SCAPA is a non-profit organization involving pilots and aviation enthusiasts with the mission to preserve the San Martin Airport, improve community relations, and enhance flying safety. SCAPA has an active Disaster Airlift Response Team (DART) also based at the San Martin Airport, working to provide local general aviation support capabilities for the South Santa Clara County community.