Contact: Steve Walker, Executive Director
SAN JOSE, CA, January 15, 2011 – In 2011, for the first time, the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) Education Fund will award an endowed scholarship. This long-anticipated endowed scholarship will go to the highest caliber student pursuing a career as a professional pilot. This scholarship, set at $7000, will be awarded in conjunction with the 2011 scholarship campaign that commences January 1 with the deadline to apply of March 31, 2011. Awards will be announced in June.
In addition to the endowed scholarship, the Education Fund Board of Directors previously approved a 2011 scholarship budget of $15,000. Now, including the endowed scholarship, more than $20,000 may be awarded in 2011. Four scholarships of $3,750 each were granted in 2010.
The National Gay Pilots Association created the Education Fund in 1996 to encourage members of the LGBT community to pursue careers as pilots. Through general fundraising appeals, and by soliciting gifts to our endowment, the NGPA Education Fund intends to provide as much immediate capital to the GLBT aviation community as possible, while preserving and building an endowment for the future. Captain Tom Little, NGPA-EF Chairman stated, “Many long-time NGPA members have made significant personal donations or participated in various fund-raising events to bring the endowment assets to a level that now makes this a reality.”
Applications will be scored as in previous years with the potential for an outstanding, top-rated candidate to be honored with this special award. Factors considered include: demonstrated academic ability, financial need, and active participation in matters of social justice toward the betterment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The strength of the applicant’s commitment to supporting and bettering the LGBT community is one of the criteria established in considering applicants; however, scholarships will be awarded without regard to race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or other group categories protected by non-discrimination laws.
The National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) is an international organization of Gay and Lesbian pilots and other aviation enthusiasts from around the world.
Through education, outreach programs, and social events, we promote our primary organizational goals:
- To provide an affirming social and professional network for Gay and Lesbian aviators
- To encourage Gays and Lesbians to begin piloting careers
- To foster equal treatment of Gay and Lesbian aviators
- To promote aviation safety
Here’s what our members say:
“I used to think I was the world’s only gay pilot. Boy, has NGPA changed all that! Through NGPA, I’ve met some really quality people, made many good friends, and one very special one…my lover. I’m always proud to keep NGPA’s quarterly magazine on my coffee table because its quality ranks right up there with any other aviation magazines. I can’t recommend the Association enough!”
“This is a super group of guys and gals who love flying…and just happen to be gay or lesbian. I’ve met some of my best friends here, and NGPA’s events, including those in conjunction with EAA’s Sun ‘N Fun and Oshkosh Fly-ins and the AOPA convention, are absolutely not to be missed. Talk about an active organization!”
-General Aviation Pilot
“Gay or lesbian airline pilots have unique needs – like finding jobs ,and workplace or hiring discrimination. And some of my friends have had their pilot careers abruptly terminated because of HIV. Among all aviation organizations, only NGPA addresses these issues. NGPA’s personal contacts with the FAA Administrator have made me really proud to be an NGPA member. We need a national voice for gay/lesbian pilots, and NGPA is it!”
“Every general aviation pilot has experienced the infamous $100 hamburger – and I’ve found there’s no better way to find someone special to share it with than the NGPA’s national and international network of gay and lesbian pilots. It seems there are just too many events for me to attend them all. I’d like to though!”
-General Aviation Pilot