Scholarships

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Scholarships Put Schedulers & Dispatchers on Path to Success

Aug. 11, 2014

Beth Lerew received the inaugural NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Committee scholarship back in 1998, and she and subsequent recipients have used the award to kick start their own success stories ever since. “Education and experience are the two best tools for moving forward,” said Lerew, a licensed dispatcher and FBO customer service representative. For many recipients, NBAA Charities scholarships provide an essential opportunity for obtaining those tools.

NBAA Charities and the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Committee offer two scholarship programs that promote professional development for business aviation schedulers and dispatchers. Generously supported by donor companies, the monetary scholarship program offers cash awards for amounts up to $10,000 per applicant, and the training scholarship program offers 17 awards on a variety of topics, including scheduler initial training, dispatcher training and certification, safety and security training and more.

Scholarship recipients know that starting the professional development journey is not always easy. Lerew worried about her rusty study skills and the “daunting” coursework. Past recipient Corrine McCune was wary of the added time commitment on top of a busy work schedule, and Lee Rafalko applied for his scholarship because the cost of obtaining a dispatcher certificate seemed overwhelming.

Lerew, McCune and Rafalko, as well as recipient Kellie Rittenhouse, all found the support they needed from peers in the NBAA S&D community, as well as their employers. In addition to achieving their professional development goals, recipients credit this strong support system for achieving new levels of confidence, expanding their networks and creating momentum for further professional development.

Today, Lerew, McCune, Rittenhouse and Rafalko have all obtained their dispatcher certificates. The license enabled Lerew to do Part 135 and freelance work, and to increase the level of professionalism among her current team. McCune is now able to communicate and partner with her flight crews on a higher level. Rittenhouse has also completed an undergraduate degree, earned her Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) credential and is looking into advanced degree programs.

Other scholarship recipients have found success along different paths. Sandy Frentz has received two S&D scholarships, which she used for training that led to the receipt of her Schedulers Professional Development Program (SPDP) completion certificate and recognition from her supervisor and coworkers. (SPDP is now part of NBAA’s main PDP.)

Ken Baylor was awarded a training scholarship for an FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center immersion course offered by NBAA’s Air Traffic Services staff, and he also was recently approved to take the written exam for his CAM credential.

Many of the NBAA S&D scholarship recipients now contribute to the same support system that bolstered their own careers by mentoring others and serving in the S&D community.

“I’m always asking, ‘How can I share the relevance of my experience and skills where others would also benefit?’” says Rittenhouse.

Advance Your Career – Apply Today!

If you’re an existing or aspiring scheduler or dispatcher looking to advance your professional development and your business aviation career, consider applying for an S&D scholarship. Gain inspiration from the success stories of past scholarship recipients, or apply for one of the 2015 S&D scholarships by Sept. 26.