Second round entry by Sam Walsh
Live Your Dream - Scholarship Competition Entry
Samuel Walsh Age 22
My first introduction to aviation was through my Father. My Dad completed his PPL at Orange County Airport (SNA) in 1979. Growing up with five brothers in Southern California we had abundant opportunities for, air shows, museums, and building model airplanes. Some years back, my dad, older brothers, and myself all got into aviation by flying RC airplanes together. It was around this time that I started to become interested in historic and iconic Warbirds. In 2010, seeing that 6 of the 7 flying P-38's were going to be at Reno, my older brother and I quickly purchased tickets to see the big show! This was when my interest in aviation turned serious. The Reno air races prompted me to research the aviation industry in more depth. It really turned the light bulb on. For example one of the things I had never really considered was how important missionary/humanitarian aviation is, and the looming pilot shortage.
After Reno I apprenticed/worked at our local airport (KIZA) assisting with annuals, airframe repairs, and no small number of plane washings! Working at a FBO there are lots of chances to “bum” rides. One ride I took at sunset in a J-3 Cub completely sold me on getting my license! The pilot I was with allowed me to fly the pattern and I was hooked! It was the most awesome feeling to be in control! The incredible feeling of freedom to go where ever and the awesome beauty that can be seen from an airplane is something I want to be able to share with others. At the FBO I met several businessmen who use aviation as an important transportation tool for their business. This is partly why I want to get my pilots license. I also would like to have the option of being a commercial pilot when I graduate.
The FBO job came to an end when I started college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After being home-schooled through High School by my parents, I attended Allan Hancock community college and while at Allan Hancock I was on the Dean's honor list 2008-10. Getting into Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where I am currently a student, has probably been my greatest honor/achievement. Even though I had a 3.8 GPA I was turned down the first time I applied. But because Cal Poly was where I wanted to go I applied a second time and was accepted! I am currently majoring in Business with an Industrial Technology Minor. I also participate in several clubs on campus. Cal Poly's American Marketing Association (AMA) club, Cal Poly Motor Car Club, Cal Poly Entrepreneurs, and the Cal Poly Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) of which I just became president.
So far I have logged 24.8 hrs and my goal is to complete my PPL this summer funds permitting. I currently have 3 brothers who are also in college so there is not a lot of money to go around. Although I do have a summer job there is not a lot left over after college expenses. This Christmas break I was able to work on completing the annual of a close family friend’s Cessna 150 which he has generously offered to let me use for only the cost of fuel + $14 per hour provided I can get the necessary funds! We figure that I can finish my license for around $4000. This scholarship would help pay for a significant portion of my flight training! Thank you so much for offering this scholarship!
Posted In: Scholarship Contest
Announcing our second round winner
Posted In: Scholarship Contest