Alaska Airmen Association Scholarships

The 2023 Scholarship Season Has Closed

2023 Scholarship Winners Announced


Congratulations to our 2023 winners!

All applicants have been notified of their status and the Award Ceremony was a great success.  Thank you for your support! 

A complete list of winners and their awards will be posted here in the coming days.

Contact with any questions.


Our scholarship application opened on January 2, 2023, and closed on March 1, 2023, at 11:59PM AKST. Please check back here for future opportunities.

Have questions about the selection process or future scholarship seasons? Email

Contribute Today!

Our members are proud to support the growth of aviation as an industry and lifestyle. We partner with aviation legends to award multiple scholarships each year, designed with the next generation of aviation professionals and enthusiasts in mind.

Alaskans have spoken up, and our community clearly places immense value on local aviation. This upcoming generation of aviation professionals and enthusiasts is eager to establish a foothold in the industry, and funds are flowing in from all corners of the state to support them.

2022 Scholarship Ceremony at the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering


Our scholarships are broken down into the following categories:


Aircraft Maintenance & Fabrication

Airport Operations, Management, & Air Traffic Control

Piloting: from zero-time through ATP and beyond! New Aviation Discovery Scholarships: $500 to see whether flying is for you.

Other Aviation Pursuits (drone piloting, aerospace engineering, astronaut, etc.)



Aircraft mechanics and technicians

Air traffic controllers

Airport managers

Drone pilots

Aerospace engineers

and more!


These scholarships recur year after year thanks to incredibly generous donations from their benefactors.


**NOW $5000!**


Christian was a successful, young flight instructor who always looked to share his passion for aviation in Alaska's community. Christian was a natural teacher with a constant focus on 'safety first". Christian passed away in 2016, at age 20, when the aircraft he was a passenger in was brought down by a bird strike. Christian's dream to become a professional pilot will live on through the Alaska Airmen's Association's $5000 scholarship in his honor, aiding fellow Alaska residents in pursuing their piloting careers.

In the spirit of Christian and to support the future of Alaska aviation, an anonymous donor has provided another $2500 towards this scholarship, allowing it to be a $5000 award.  This scholarship now awards the winning applicant $5000 towards their professional piloting studies!



The original “Glacier Pilot”, Bob Reeve is an undisputed legend in Alaska for the creation and management of his Airline, Reeve Aleutian Airways. A company that served wild Alaskan villages and remote islands for over 70 years. He knew better than anyone the skill, patience and effort required to manage pilots. The Alaska Airmen award $3,000 every year in his honor to an individual seeking a career in Aviation Management, Dispatch or ATC.


This scholarship awards an applicant $3000 toward a career in aviation management (to include areas of operations, safety, & education), dispatch, or a career in the ATC field.


To his friends at the Alaska Airmen’s Association John Culhane was known simply as “Jack”. We are honored to be awarding $2,500 dollars to a deserving aviator, in the memory of one of our own.  Jack contributed much of his time to the industry of aviation in Alaska, through his position as Director for the Alaska Airmen Association.  We are proud to carry on his legacy, by helping the Professional Piloting industry grow stronger every year with a scholarship for a career seeking pilot.


This scholarship awards an applicant $2500 toward the pursuit of a professional piloting career.



A war hero and pioneer aviator, Bob Ellis’s passion for aviation was equaled only by his commitment to Southeast Alaska. From making history in amphibious airplanes, to creating an airline that ultimately became what we know as Alaska Airlines, to becoming Ketchikan’s town mayor and two term Territorial Legislature Senator.  Bob’s enthusiasm for aviation in the Southeast is carried on by the Alaska Airmen by awarding a $500.00 scholarship to a Southeastern Alaska Resident.


This $500.00 scholarship is open to residents of Southeast Alaska who intend to pursue a career in the aviation industry.


Atlee Dodge is a well know name to every Alaskan Aviator. His knowledge of the inner workings of Alaskan Bush planes is unsurpassed and his improvements for all things Super Cub are felt and appreciated to this day. The Alaska Airmen are proud to continue on his journey of airplane advancements by providing $2,500 for a student looking toward Aircraft Maintenance as a career.


This scholarship awards an applicant $2500 toward the pursuit of a professional career in aircraft maintenance.



For would-be pilots looking towards aviation as a life goal and not necessarily a career, the Alaska Airmen partner with Joe Stancil Jr. to award a $3,000 private pilot scholarship. This scholarship is open to all Alaska residents who are in pursuit of their private pilot license and are planning to fly in Alaska.  This includes building hours in the cockpit toward their private pilot license. Proof of ground school participation via letter from instructor or course transcripts and CFI letters of recommendation will be required.


This scholarship awards an applicant $3000 toward a Private Pilot Certificate



Don and Carol Bedford were a team. Don had earned his Airframe and Power License and was well on the way to a degree in aeronautical engineering when he felt impelled to join the workforce at Lockheed Aircraft at the outbreak of WW II. Don later joined the Army Air Corps where he eventually joined the Aviation Cadet program. He was transitioning to fighters when the war ended. He returned to Lockheed where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Tony LeVere Howard Hughes and worked on the P-80 program. in 1947 Don took a job with Alaska Coastal Airlines in Juneau where he stayed through a series of mergers to retired from Alaska Airlines i n 1993. Carols was from the Chicago area where she attended business school. She traveled to Alaska on a whim took a job at Alaska Airlines where the two met. Don was one of the first authorized inspectors in Southeast Alaska, an area where he remained active throughout the rest of his life. He also flew and restored small aircraft. Carol supported Don in all his endeavors, kept up with the billing and paperwork and "tended the home fires."


Two $2500 scholarships will be awarded to two different applicants.

One scholarship will be awarded to an applicant pursuing a career in aviation mechanics while the other will be awarded to a female applicant pursuing a career in the aviation field.



Major Bill J. Head (Ret.) flew both fixed wing and rotary wing during his twenty year career in the U.S. Army. After his retirement from the Army he continued his flying for both fun and, on and off, as a commercial pilot. He passed on a great love of aviation to his two sons, both of whom have pilot certificates. Bill was continually on a quest for knowledge in whatever field caught his fancy at the time, and it is in this vein that his family wishes to help someone follow their quest to fly, whether for fun or for occupation (or maybe both).


 "The person with the most gold when they die isn't the winner, it is the person with the most stories."


This scholarship was funded by Beluga Air and, with Alaska Airmen Association matching funds, will award an applicant $2,500 toward the pursuit of a professional piloting career.


William George "Bill" Stroecker was the best known civic leader in Fairbanks over the 50-year period 1960-2010 when he passed at age 90. Born July 31, 1920 in Fairbanks, Stroecker never called anywhere else home and when he passed he left a legacy through the Bill Stroecker Foundation which is designed to benefit the community for another 50 years.

Having never called anywhere else home, Bill did leave Fairbanks in 1938 to attend New Mexico Military Institute. Then, near the end of World War II Bill was stationed at Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada as part of the Lend-Lease Program as he served time in the U.S. Army.
Following NMMI, Bill finished his education at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, graduating with a Business Administration Degree, specializing in Accounting. At that point he took a job at First National Bank as a bookkeeper and in 1967 succeeded his brother, Ed, as bank president.

Bill quickly became the face of Fairbanks from his post at Second and Cushman, eventually selling the bank in 1977 to Alaska Pacific Bank. Even then, Bill continued to serve as Vice President of Public Relations for the new owner and continued on in the same capacity with Key Bank who became the latest owner in 1985. Bill remained as VP for Public Relations until his passing in November, 2010.

2023 Scholarship Donors

These generous donors have kicked off our 2023 scholarship fundraising this year. We are grateful for their contribution to Alaska aviation and can't wait to share more as the fundraising continues!


We would like to offer a special thank you to the Saltchuk family of companies whose generous donation allowed us to fund four scholarship awards for 2023.

Barry Santana

Barry has funded two scholarships this year. Barry's contribution will provide a $2,500 Aircraft Mechanic Scholarship in honor of Voight Clum and a $2,500 Pilot Scholarship in honor of Jay Hammond, whose Cessna 185 Barry now flies.

Austin and Merry Engebretson

Austin and Merry donated $2,500 towards our scholarships this year. They've taken advantage of the Association Matching Funds to create two $2,500 scholarships, one for piloting and one for maintenance.

James Baum

James donated $2,500 towards two scholarships. We've matched his donation, stretching his funds. Through the Association Matching Funds James has created two $2,500 scholarships, one for piloting and one for maintenance.

Meadow Lakes Flying Dames

The Meadow Lakes Flying Dames scholarship was generously funded by an anonymous donor. These funds are intended to support a female pilot on her training journey.

Sutton Aircraft Salvage

A home-operated aircraft salvage yard located 4 miles north of Palmer specializing in Cessna parts.  Sutton Aircraft has helped fund our scholarship program for several years now and you can see them supporting the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering in the Fly Market, as well! 

In Memory of Dr. George F. Gates

In 1964, Dr. Gates graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado pursuing engineering and pre-med.  After completing residency in orthopedics in San Antonio, Texas, he selected Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, where he also became a recreational "Bush Pilot." In 1978, George separated from the Air Force and relocated his family to a remote cabin for an Alaska "living off the grid" adventure.

His family and friends have chosen to memorialize his love of aviation in Alaska by supporting the dreams and education of a future aviation professional.  $2500 will be awarded in his name.  Thank you Dr. Gates and family!

2023 Co-Funded Scholarships

$2500 scholarship funded by donations from the Alaska Airmen Board of Directors

$2500 scholarship in memory of S.S. Phillips

$2500 scholarship in memory of Phil Block, Alaska Airlines Pilot, Retired

$2500 scholarship funded by the John H Nystrum Fund


Thank you to all of our donors!

Additional donations were received from members and the public totaling over $6000!  Every dollar donated goes straight into the hands of a deserving applicant so each one counts and we are so grateful for the support!  



As part of our commitment to considerably strengthen our scholarship program through additional funding, the Airmen's Association has been partnering with other community and industry actors to co-fund even more scholarships for Alaska's aviation students.

If you would like to honor the name of an individual or have your business recognized while supporting the aspirations of young aviation enthusiasts, the Alaska Airmen's Association will match your donation up to $1,250 .

                                  For more information, please email


2023 Scholarship Recipients

Christian D. Bohrer Memorial Scholarship - Michael Kemper
Bill Stroecker Foundation Scholarship - Leo Hicker
Bill Stroecker Foundation Scholarship - Alyssa Rittel
Sutton Aircraft Salvage Scholarship - Andy Christiansen
Sutton Aircraft Salvage Scholarship - Willem Meehan
Scholarship in memory of Phil Block, Alaska Airlines Pilot - Ana Arreola
Meadowlakes Flying Dame Scholarship - Lucy Hankins
Scholarship in memory of S.S. Phillips - Sara Cubbage
Scholarship in memory of Dr George F Gates - Ashley Fitzsimmons
John P. Culhane Professional Pilot Scholarship - Chris Edwards
Don & Carol Bedford Memorial Scholarship - April Erhardt
Alaska Airmen Member Funded Scholarship - Manuela Jay
Alaska Airmen Association Scholarship - Dylan Duffield

Bob Ellis Memorial Scholarship for Students from the South East - David Howard
FIRST Aerospace Engineering Scholarship funded by Barry Santana - Ezra West
FIRST Drone Training Scholarship - Timothy Purrenhage

Bob Reeve Aviation Management Scholarship - Brendon DeVries

Don & Carol Bedford Memorial Scholarship -  Andrea Langefeld
F. Atlee Dodge Maintenance Scholarship  - Martin Rhett
Scholarship Funded by James Baum  - Cameron King
Scholarship in honor of Voight Clum - David Howard
Scholarship Funded by Austin and Merry Engebretson - Judson Scott

Joe Stancil Jr. Flight Training Scholarship - Claire Dal Nogare
John H Nystrum Fund Scholarship - Hannah Kinder
Scholarship in memory of Major William Head - Yelena Prusakova
N1647Z in honor of Jay S. Hammond Scholarship - Dennis Gayvoronskiy
Alaska Airmen Member Funded Scholarship - Michelle Tuluk
Alaska Airmen Member Funded Scholarship - Tianna Pelton
Alaska Airmen Member Funded Scholarship - Julie Vorachek
Alaska Airmen Board of Directors Funded Scholarship -Carly Venske
Scholarship Funded by Saltchuk Companies - Tirzah Parker
Scholarship Funded by Saltchuk Companies - Andrew Knight
Scholarship Funded by Saltchuk Companies - Elijah Corwin
Scholarship Funded by Saltchuk Companies - Nelliann Smith

Kai Hargrave - Brandon Newman - Alexis Cramer
Giovanni Rigutto - Levi Peters - Anneliese Hiatt
Bryce Armstrong - Tyler Standridge - Chandler Kohntopp


Domenic Giunta – Alaska Airmen Association Scholarship (Private Pilot License)

Carol Zerbe and I were just about to do stall awareness training on this flight. Thank you, Airmen, for the scholarship, it has helped immensely!


Hannah Kinder – Aviation Discovery Scholarship

This scholarship is helping me get my foot through the door of aviation. I'm excited for the opportunity to experience more time up in the sky and learn more about aircraft. I plan on scheduling flights with Blue River Aviation and hopefully pursuing my Private Pilot License.

for the scholarship, it has helped immensely!

Ibrahim Kromah – Aviation Discovery Scholarship

I used the scholarship to pay for my aviation headset and the FAA exam! I will use the remaining to pay for my private pilot check ride! I am beyond grateful and happy that I was amongst the lucky that were awarded funds for my education. I will continue to do my absolute best and become the best pilot I can be. 


Winter Shaw– Aviation Discovery Scholarship

I just found a new CFI and started flight training. The scholarship funds gave me the opportunity to find a top-notch CFI. I am on my way to getting my Private Pilot License and eventually flying aerobatics, hopefully!

Recipient Name  Scholarship Awarded  Award 
Alexa  Donahe  Professional Pilot - sponsored by Saltchuk Companies   $2,500  
Andrew  Christiansen  Private Pilot In Memory of Howard Knutson   $2,500  
Annabelle  Hutchison  Private Pilot - sponsored by the Mat-Su 99s   $2,500  
Annalynn  Brown  Professional Pilot - In Memory of Phil Block, Alaska Airlines Pilot, Retired   $2,500  
Benjamin  Kolendo  Private Pilot - Alaska Airmen Award   $2,500  
Brianna  Norby  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Caitlin  McGinn  Private Pilot - Alaska Airmen Award   $2,500  
Carly  Venzke  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Clara  Hansen  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Connor  Elmquist  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Cora  Siebert  Private Pilot - Alaska Airmen Award   $2,500  
Coral  Papoi  Professional Pilot- sponsored by Sutton Aircraft Salvage   $2,500  
David  Berg  Private Pilot-sponsored by Saltchuk Companies & Bob Ellis Memorial for SE Alaskans   $3,000  
Dennis  Gayvoronskiy  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Desta  Lanna  Private Pilot - Alaska Airmen Award   $2,500  
Devon  Wear  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Domenic  Giunta  Private Pilot - Alaska Airmen Award   $2,500  
Eli  Rodriguez  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Evan  Butcher  Private Pilot-sponsored by Saltchuk Companies   $2,500  
Hallie  Whitmore  Don & Carol Bedford Memorial Scholarship   $2,500  
Hannah  Kinder  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Hunter  Fry  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Ibrahim  Kromah  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Igor  Chernonog  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Jack  Baker  Private Pilot-sponsored by James Baum   $2,500  
Jacquelyn  Howard  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Jetta  Krueger  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Johnathan  Lewis  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Jonathan  Burrell  F. Atlee Dodge Maintenance Scholarship   $2,500  
Josh  Hollingsworth  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Joshua  Baker  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Joy  Erlenbach  Joe Stancil Jr. Flight Training Scholarship   $3,000  
Justin  Doucet  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Justin  Garrison  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Kaelyn  Rosso  Bob Reeve Aviation Management Scholarship   $3,000  
Kathleen  Schrader  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Kellie  Okonek  Christian D. Bohrer Memorial Professional Pilot Scholarship   $2,500  
Kelly  Reynolds  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Kiva  McCarthy  Professional Pilot - Alaska Airmen Award   $2,500  
Kristina  Votaw  Professional Pilot - Alaska Airmen Award   $2,500  
Kyle  Wolner  Don & Carol Bedford Memorial Scholarship   $2,500  
Kyler  Forth  Professional Pilot- sponsored by Austin Engebretson and Alaska Commercial Insurance Brokers   $2,500  
Leota  Lane  Maintenance- sponsored by Austin Engebretson and Alaska Commercial Insurance Brokers   $2,500 
Levi  Farrelly  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Logan  Sabo  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Lucas  Nollar  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Maggie  Kirkpatrick  Maintenance in honor of Voight Clum and Alaska Airmen Association Professional Pilot   $5,000  
Manuela "Wella"  Jay  John P. Culhane Professional Pilot Scholarship   $2,500  
Maren  Jostad-Laswell  Professional Pilot - Alaska Flying Dame Scholarship    $2,500  
Mary  Creighton  Professional Pilot - Alaska Airmen Award   $2,500  
Mckayla  Montgomery  Private Pilot in Memory of Major William Head   $2,500  
Michael  Daniels  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Michael  Kemper  Maintenance-sponsored by James Baum   $2,500  
Monica  Keim  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Nicole  Misurelli  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Nicole  Beier  Professional Pilot - sponsored by Saltchuk Companies   $2,500  
Oguzhan  Bal  Professional Pilot - Alaska Airmen Award   $2,500  
Omar  Matos Cortes  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Sacha  Sidelinger  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Savanah  Elliott  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Steven  Schmitt  Private Pilot - Alaska Airmen Award   $2,500  
Thomas  Edmondson  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Thomas  Rheaume  Private Pilot in honor of N1647Z and Jay S. Hammond   $2,500  
Timothy  Ozerkov  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Trent  Foldager  Aviation Discovery   $500  
Winter  Shaw  Aviation Discovery   $500  




Aaron Edwards

Bob Reeve Aviation Management Scholarship


Aras Sirvelis

Don & Carol Bedford Memorial Scholarship


Hannah Corral

F. Atlee Dodge Maintenance Scholarship


Nicholas Zito

John P. Culhane Scholarship


Samuel Dobson

Bob Ellis Scholarship


Tyler Berg

LakeHood Pilots Association Scholarship


Tyler Kukowski

Christian D. Bohrer Scholarship


Victoria Austin

Joe Stancil Jr. Scholarship


Ashley FitzSimmons

F. Atlee Dodge Maintenance Scholarship


McKenna Mitchell

John P. Culhane Professional Pilot Scholarship


Leo Hicker

Joe Stancil Jr. Flight Training Scholarship


Abram Leigh

Bob Ellis Memorial Scholarship


Shiann Nanalook

Alaska Airmen's Award


Rachel Richardson

Bob Reeve Aviation Management Scholarship


Emma Apitzsch

F. Atlee Dodge Maintenance Scholarship


Griffin Kellar

John P. Culhane Professional Pilot Scholarship


Hannah Markwood

Joe Stancil Jr. Flight Training Scholarship


Luc Rondeau

Bob Ellis Memorial Scholarship


Josh Blom

Alaska Airmen's Award