AOPA Awards Two Student Pilot Scholarships at Women in Aviation Conference

Frederick, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the AOPA Foundation awarded two scholarships each worth $3,000 to pilots-in-training last Saturday during the annual Women in Aviation, International (WAI) Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Melanie Leigh Rivera and Angela “Bambi” Shorey were chosen out of 24 applicants to receive the scholarships that will be used toward future flight training. The AOPA awards were made as part of the WAI Scholarship Program.

Rivera and Shorey were evaluated on merit, including previous accomplishments, their ability to set and achieve goals, involvement in general aviation, and their commitment to flight training. Applicants were also asked to write an essay expressing their views on how general aviation supports local communities and the nation.

“I’m really looking forward to putting the award toward getting my private pilot and [Advanced Ground Instructor] ratings so I can continue my goal of inspiring youth and others’ interest in general aviation,” said Shorey.

Both applicants are currently involved with general aviation in their communities and plan to use their pilot certificates to increase awareness of general aviation.

"I have read about the many women who have become pilots and admire their contributions to aviation,” said Rivera. “I no longer have to rely solely on reading about the experiences of the pilots before me. I can now contribute to the conversation with my own experience and expertise."

Each year, AOPA awards one scholarship under the WAI Scholarship program. However, with such a talented pool of applicants this year, the scholarship committee felt compelled to make an additional award, which the AOPA Foundation offered to fund.

WAI is a nonprofit organization encouraging women to seek opportunities and careers in aviation. Applications for the 2014 scholarships will be available July 2013 on the WAI website:

Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly for thousands of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts. With a membership base of nearly 400,000, AOPA is the largest aviation association in the world. With representatives based in Frederick, M.D., Washington, D.C., and seven regions across the United States, AOPA provides member services that range from advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, flight planning products, safety programs and award-winning media products. To learn more, visit