Congratulations to our 2017 Scholarship Winner!

2017 Bay Cities flight training scholarship recipient

Madelief Schelvis BC99s scholarship winner

Madelief Schelvis

Meet Madelief Schelvis, our 2017 Bay Cities flight training scholarship recipient. Madelief is an undergraduate at UC Berkeley who began flying in January of this year. She flies out of the Palo Alto airport (PAO) and has logged 13.5 hours while working on basic flight maneuvers and take-offs and landings.

As a full-time student, Madelief shares that the Bay Cities award will significantly reduce the stress of paying for her training, allowing her to devote more time and attention to flying. During her summer break she will be working around her full-time work schedule to continue flying with the goal of earning her Private Pilot License before continuing her education this fall. Her joy of flying is evident and she has already introduced her sister to flying!

Here are a few excerpts from her scholarship application essay that reflect what an enthusiastic aviator she is and gives a glimpse of her motivations and goals with respect to flying.

Flying has been a dream of mine since childhood, but it was only last fall when I enrolled in a ground-school course at my university that I had my first taste of aviation. The course opened a door for me to a dream that I never considered attainable and that quickly became my obsession.

After completing ground school, I took my first flight. I was entranced by the new perspective of the beautiful mountains, valleys, and coastline where I grew up. I experienced a thrilling awareness of the airflow over the wings, the balance of forces holding the aircraft aloft, and the gentle rocking, sinking and lifting motions of the aircraft in flight.

The direct application of concepts from ground school to the actual experience of flight was a dream come true. I am a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley studying integrative biology and marine science.

I’m especially interested in birds and the evolution and biomechanics of flight, and I plan to eventually earn a PhD in evolutionary biology and work as aresearch scientist. The concepts I learn in ground school and flight training often directly apply to my studies in bird flight, physics, and atmospheric science, but other skills gained in flight training are transferable to daily life.

As a pilot, I will gain skills in multitasking, attention to detail, confidently dealing with unexpected situations, problem-solving, spatial awareness, navigation, and understanding atmospheric conditions, which are invaluable to both work and daily life. The license itself may even apply to scientific fieldwork as I travel to remote locations to collect data.


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