The American Airlines Education Foundation has awarded US$801,000 in scholarships to 300 children of its employees, an increase of 5% compared to 2016.

The foundation received more than 1,600 applications as a part of the competitive process, consisting of high school seniors and college undergraduate students.

Each successful applicant receives a US$2,500 scholarship and 51 first-generation college students will each receive an additional one-time award of US$1,000. Managed by third-party scholarship experts, funds were awarded based on financial need, academic achievement, extracurricular involvement and commitment to community service and volunteerism. Applicants can receive the award for up to four years.

“We are thrilled the foundation is in a position to support 300 students as they pursue their higher education goals,” commented Ron DeFeo, president of the American Airlines Education Foundation Board and VP Global Communications for the airline. “This year’s scholarship recipients are an impressive group and include US Presidential Scholars, student athletes, licensed pilots and first-generation college students. The award ceremony is one of the best nights of the year at American and it’s a joy to see the accomplishments and passions of these students and the pride of their parents as the students accept their awards.”

“The American Airlines scholarships have really helped to ease my burden of putting three children through college simultaneously,” said Marcia Antonello, a PHL–based flight attendant. “I am extremely proud of each of them and I know they are proud of each other. One of the beauties of their unique relationship is that they really celebrate each other’s accomplishments. They are truly one another’s greatest champions and this ‘Antonello Trifecta’ will become another fond memory for us to share.”

“As a three-time recipient of the American Airlines Education Foundation Scholarship Award, I am extremely grateful for the foundation's continued generosity,” commented Skylar Yoder, daughter of Jason Yoder, an aviation maintenance technician based in Tech Ops–Tulsa. “I will use the money from this scholarship to help pay for tuition during my upcoming junior year at Cornell University. Without this kind of support, it would be much more difficult for me, as a first-generation college student, to accomplish my educational goals.”