GBAA Scholarships & Mentoring



GBAA Scholarships

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Georgia Business Aviation Association Scholarship Program.  The GBAA is a non-profit organization made up of local volunteers who work in the industry everyday and it is our mission to promote business aviation in the State of Georgia, as well as to educate and advance the recognition of business aviation and its importance to the economy of the state.  In 2014, our Annual Member's Meeting and Golf Tournament was highlighted by Howie Franklin who flew and served with five presidents on Air Force one and was the only person ever to do so. We awarded 12 academic scholarships to Georgia high school graduates and GBAA members.  To date, the GBAA has awarded over $309,000 to 112 well deserving individuals. 

GBAA Mentorship Program

The GBAA's mentoring program matches GBAA scholarship recipients with GBAA members working in professions that sync with the student's chosen academic disciplines and career aspirations.  The program's primary goal is to foster the development of lasting professional relationships between this and the next generation of leaders, sharing ideas, life experiences, career strategies and emerging technologies.  If you are interested in mentoring a student, please contact us at

The 2015 Scholarship Window is Open

2015 Scholarship Applications 
Are Now Available

2014 GBAA Scholarship Recipients

Scholarship Testimonials

I am so very grateful for the opportunity provided to me as a winner of the 2014 GBAA Professional Pilot Scholarship. It is truly an honor to receive such an award and I am excited to put the scholarship money to good use this fall while flying at Oklahoma State University.  This scholarship will help me greatly with the tremendous expense of pursuing a flight degree program in college.  Thank you so very much to everyone at GBAA for making this possible!

It was a distinct honor to attend the recent awards dinner and I was impressed by all the great people I met there. My family and I had a wonderful time.  I especially enjoyed meeting and getting to network with so many top professionals in the corporate aviation industry.  It was also a learning experience for me - before I was so focused on flying, but the dinner opened my eyes to the many other important jobs that exist in aviation.  I saw how everything blends together in operations such as gasoline distribution, maintenance, insurance, plans and logistics, security, sales, etc., as well as actual flying.  At dinner, I was privileged to sit by Chris Algee from Jet Aviation, Jim Kazin from Aflac and Vanessa and Jamai from World Fuel.  Kris Parson, Chris Algee, Jim Kazin and all GBAA members were so nice to me and I learned so much that night.  I hope to keep in touch with everyone.

I would again like to thank the GBAA organization and the generosity of all of its members for providing scholarships like the one I received that help individuals reach their dreams of one day entering into the corporate aviation field. The GBAA flight scholarship will greatly assist me in working towards my dream of becoming a top-notch corporate pilot.  I am so excited to enter into the field of aviation and cannot thank the GBAA board and its members enough for helping me to pursue my career dream!


Jacqueline Sittler
Oklahoma State University, Professional Pilot Degree Program
Scholarship Recipient 2014 


I want to thank you for selecting me as a GBAA scholarship recipient for 2014.  I am currently in the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at Middle Georgia State College in Eastman, GA.  This scholarship will help me out tremendously with the rising expenses of college.  I am currently finishing the Spring 2014 semester and have signed up for classes during the summer.  I am working hard to get my A&P License sooner to decrease my educational cost and enter the aviation career field.

The dinner and award ceremony was a very exciting experience.  My parents and I were very impressed with the presentation and people associated with organization.  I was fortunate to be introduced to Mr. Gerry Ferris from The Home Depot.  My parents and I were seated at his table.  Mr. Gerry Ferriss introduced me to other members of the organization which I highly appreciate.  It was an honor and a privilege to be there and a great networking opportunity. 

Thank you for all the kindness and generosity from your organization and members.  The GBAA Scholarship will provide me a great opportunity to continue working towards entering the awesome field of aviation.


Austin Ramsey
Middle Georgia State College, AMT Program
Scholarship Recipient 2014


I recently returned from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where I attended the Executive Education program, Managing the Corporate Aviation Function, thanks to the scholarship your organization awarded me last Spring.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am, as a GBAA member, for the opportunity to apply for and receive this wonderful award.  I learned more about the business and personal aspects of managing a corporate flight department that I ever thought possible in that short period of time, and the opportunity to network with and get to know so many industry professionals was a huge, added bonus.  I learned so many things about myself and this industry that will not only benefit me in the future development, but can be used immediately in my current position at this point in my career.  You simply cannot put a value on what the experience meant to me and the potential it could create.

Thanks again for the time and energy each of you puts into this organization, for the benefit of its members and this great industry.  It is people like you, working tirelessly to provide development opportunities for those behind you, that help make this industry what it is today, and shape what it will be tomorrow.  It also reinforces that I made the correct career decision when I entered the field of Business Aviation in the wonderful state of Georgia over 15 years ago.


William Chapman
Senior Aircraft Technician, Cox Enterprises, Inc
March, 2014


Thank you very much to everyone at the GBAA for selecting me as a 2012 GBAA Scholarship recipient.  This scholarship will help me and my family pay for my education at Purdue University this fall.

I would also like to thank you for the enjoyable evening and dinner.  It was an exciting event for me and my family.  I enjoyed meeting everyone there and listening to their advice.  Jim Kazin and Charles Booker were very welcoming and gave me great insight into careers in the aviation field.

I am looking forward to pursuing my career in aviation and will certainly seek the advice of members of the GBAA in the future.  Again, I sincerely thank all the members of the GBAA for the support they have offered to me.

Michael Shuey - 2012


I would like to thank everyone who is part of the GBAA board and membership for offering the chance of continuing education with the extensive scholarship program.  As one of the fortunate recipients of the Darden Scholarship for 2011 I'm very grateful for the opportunity.

The Darden course I chose to attend was the Developing Leadership course which is offered in the fall each year.  The two and a half day program is worth every minute I invested into it.  The course has very little downtime during the program.  The program is very well put together taught by Professors Mark Haskins and James Clawson who present the different topics and concepts in their own unique style.  This tag team approach kept each topic lively and interesting.

The Developing Leadership course topics and concepts apply directly to work and how I can grow and better lead within the aviation community.  One of the unexpected takeaways from the course is how these concepts applied to my personal life.  The two days away at the program are well worth the effort and I would highly recommend everyone taking this course.  On top of the great classroom presentations the accommodations and food were excellent making the program a perfect package.

I would like to again thank the GBAA board and membership for supporting the scholarship initiative.

Michael Martens - 2011
The Coca Cola Company


I wanted to thank you very much for providing me with a scholarship to pursue my dream to become an air traffic controller.  I was very excited to learn I had been chosen as a winner.

This scholarship is going to be a great way to help me and my family pay for my education.  The financial assistance is much appreciated and is going to allow me more time to concentrate on school instead of having to work.

I had a great time at the dinner where I was able to meet many people involved with aviation.  One of which was Mr. Martin KeHayes who teaches at Middle Georgia College where I will be attending.  It was very nice to meet and get to know him and more about the school.  Being there to hear Mr. Durant's presentation was also an awesome experience.

I have now officially moved into my dorm room in the aviation hall at Middle Georgia College.  Living here is made possible by your wonderful association.  With classes beginning tomorrow I am very excited to begin my studies with no financial stress.

Winning this scholarship not only provided me with financial aid but also with a great night among people in the aviation field.  Being on stage and accepting a check from the GBAA will be a moment in my life I will not forget.  In the future, I hope to attend more GBAA events as a student, then as an air traffic controller.

Thank you

Evan Staton - 2011


I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to you for making the GBAA Scholarship possible.  I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor and I am deeply appreciative of your support.

I am currently majoring in Electrical Engineering in the fall semester with GA Tech with hopes of pursing a career with Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation.  The financial assistance you provided will be of great help to me in paying my educational expenses and it will allow me to concentrate more of my time for studying.

By awarding me the GBAA Scholarship, you have lightened my financial burden which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school, learning.  Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community.  Thanks to you, I am one step closer to that goal.  I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as you have helped me.

Thank you again for your generosity and support.


Tiffany Liu - 2011


A Letter From One of GBAA's Darden Scholarship Recipients

At Darden, I found that the process of personal development through continuing education is perhaps more important than the accomplishment itself.  My participation at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business included a four day intensive graduate curriculum in the company of 15 diverse students and two renowned Darden professors.  My student piers included a vast collection of corporate aviation personnel from major global flight departments, particularly management.  The course, “Developing Leadership Capability in the Corporate Aviation Function”, was a personally demanding but an exceptionally gratifying and illuminating experience and one that has certainly benefited my further growth and contribution to my aviation department and the local aviation community.  It was undoubtedly the most notable and memorable of all of the formal education that I have experienced.

Read the Caselet assignments in advance and spend time reflecting on the case.  You will receive the reading materials approximately one month before the class, as I remember.  Each Caselet will finish with some reflective questions.  You will be well prepared if you have read the case and made a few notes to yourself about the key points and people involved.  Don’t get carried away with it or you’ll rewrite the whole Caselet - and some are quite lengthy!  The goal should be such that you are able to speak knowledgeably about the Caselet with a small group of your classmates (5 or so people) in a small group discussion.  Within that group, you will come to some common observations and conclusions about the Caselet that will be shared in a full class discussion with the professor guiding the discussion.  The class time is always fast-paced and dynamic (as is the entire Darden experience) - you will even have meals with your classmates.

To sum this point up, my best advice is to start preparing now - before you receive the assignments and the required reading.  Take care of anything that might be a "time-bandit" so that you can devote as much time as you need to the material so that you feel comfortably prepared.  Explain this to your family and friends so you can glean their support and so they will understand the temporary diversion of your time.  Like many things in life - the return is proportionate to the investment.

The second point comes from a valuable lesson learned.  The class is full of high-powered accomplished aviation professionals - and there's nothing wrong with that!  But as a line pilot, I was one one of two people in the class that did not hold a management position.  I found this a little daunting and I was admittedly apprehensive.  I am pleased to say that the Darden environment strongly encourages the participation of everyone and I quickly shed my inhibitions with a new founded confidence that I indeed had something to contribute.  While unpreparedness was not well tolerated (particularly with Professor Clawson), "rank and experience" certainly did not carry an elevated status.  I would suggest to anyone attending this class that they come prepared with the assignments and reading and then relax and get fully engaged with the experience!  It was truly life-changing for me!

Susan Ledell - 2010


Coca Cola Enterprises


I was fortunate enough to win one of the GBAA's Darden Scholarships in 2007. It was an awesome experience. Not only was the experience highly educational, but also it was a great opportunity to network with the leadership of some of aviation's most influential flight departments.  I felt honored to be in a room with these leaders that had such a wide breadth of experience.

I chose to use my scholarship to attend the course "Developing Leadership Capability in the Corporate Aviation Function."  The course is designed for aviation professionals already in management positions, but, as a line Captain, I took the perspective that I could use the information to enhance my daily interactions with everyone from co-workers to family.  The subject matter discussed is universally applicable to all interactions, not just traditional boss-employee work relationships. 

Class centers around case studies and group discussions on subjects from team building to positively influencing people at the most fundamental of levels -  how to decide what is the right thing to do and how to effectively get people to work with you and support you.  The underlying principle is all about how to connect and lead people in an enduring, sustainable, and effective way.

The opportunity to attend this course was so different from what I do on a day-to-day basis and it really made me think about the ways I can make a difference in how I interact with colleagues, family and friends everyday.

Don't pass up the chance at an opportunity to attend one of Darden's courses.  They are so unique - the courses are bona-fide business courses, but they are populated solely by people in our industry.

Simply for taking the time to write an essay, you get the opportunity to take a class for free that can help shape you, those around you, and our industry. 

Andrew McColloh, CAM - 2011


The Home Depot Aviation Department


Subpages (1): 2013 Scholarships