16:26 PM

An upward career: Local student wins prestigious aviation scholarship

TPA celebrates both the aviation accomplishments and the Hispanic heritage of the highest scoring 2021 Tony Jannus Scholar, who is attending the Florida Institute of Technology.

Since 1964, the Tony Jannus Award has recognized extraordinary accomplishments in the field of commercial aviation. Given annually by the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society, the award perpetuates the legacy of the world's first scheduled commercial airline, initiated and piloted by Tony Jannus on January 1, 1914 between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida. jannus2

The Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society also provides financial support to undergraduate college students who choose to pursue a degree that could lead to a career in aviation. This program is offered to those pursuing a degree at select colleges and universities in Florida. Candidates must major in an aviation-related field and intend to have a career in aviation. Last year, six students were awarded a scholarship with five individuals earning a $3,000 scholarship and one individual earning the top prize of $6,000.

In order for a student to be eligible for consideration as a Tony Jannus Scholar, they must meet a stringent set of requirements. The student must be currently enrolled in one of a select number of accredited colleges or universities in Florida, have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours and have maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.0 at the time of the application. Applicants must submit a cover letter, a resume, and an essay that details the student’s interest in aviation and how aviation has impacted their life choices, among other things.

jannus1As TPA celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month, the winner with the overall highest score in 2021 is of special note. Meet Jacqueline Figueredo: Jacqueline calls Lutz home and is currently studying at Florida Institute of Technology, pursuing a bachelor’s in Aviation Management with Flight.

“I’d like to become an airline pilot and be an example for young girls,” Jacqueline said in her scholarship application essay. “I used to fly a lot when I was younger, and I never met a female pilot, let alone a Hispanic female pilot. As Sally Ride once said, ‘Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.’”

Jacqueline said that her grandparents fled Cuba after the revolution. After coming to America,  she said, “they started over with a dream and a prayer for a better life. Because of them, I have choices. I choose to live my life as the new pioneer of aviation.”

Read more about  all of the 2021 Tony Jannus Scholars here.

For those looking to apply to be a Scholar, the 2022 program is now open. The deadline for submissions is October 15 and all application materials must be combined into a single PDF document.

In addition, those looking to become a sponsor of the 2022 Tony Jannus Award are invited to attend an upcoming banquet on Saturday, November 12, 2022. Held at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort in St. Petersburg, this special event will honor the former Alaska Airlines CEO for his leadership. Seats are still available as are varying sponsorship levels.