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Gay Pilot Association Awards $22,000 in Scholarships

Contact: Steve Walker, (206) 938-8603


San Jose, California, August 18, 2011 - The National Gay Pilots Association Education Fund (NGPA-EF) awarded $22,000 in scholarships today to five students pursing careers as professional pilots. Since its inception in 1996, NGPA-EF has awarded$139,000 in scholarships to 46 students. This year, four scholarships are in the amount of $3,750 each; plus, for the first time, the NGPA Education Fund awarded an endowed scholarship of $7,000 to one student.

NGPA-EF Board Chairman, Captain Tom Little explained, "this endowed scholarship is named in memory of David M. Charlebois, an NGPA member who lost his life while serving as First Officer on American Airlines Flight #77 which was hijacked by Al-Qaeda and crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001."

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, the NGPA Education Fund intends to provide as much immediate capital to the LGBT aviation community as possible, while preserving and building an endowment for the future.

This year's NGPA-EF scholarship winners are:

o Spencer Conklin, pursuing a masters in aviation safety at the University of North Dakota;

o Ethan Coughlin (Endowed Scholarship Winner), pursuing a bachelors in commercial aviation degree at the University of North Dakota;

o Jason Goodman, pursuing a Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) rating at a flight school in Massachusetts;

o Michael Turner, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, pursuing bachelors in aeronautical science with a minor in business; and

o Michelle Yates, pursuing an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) rating at a flight school in Florida.

The NGPA Education Fund, created by the National Gay Pilots Association, is a 501(c)(3) public charity, incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1996. Donations to the NGPA Education Fund may be tax deductible; please check with your tax advisor for your particular tax situation.

The NGPA is a membership organization comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pilots and other aviation enthusiasts from across the United States and eight foreign countries. NGPA strives to be the leading organization serving members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered aviation community through advocacy, professional networking, social outreach, and creative programming. NGPA sponsors events to provide a venue for social and professional interaction among LGBT aviators and our allies.


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