Three outstanding students pursuing aviation studies – Makayla Best, Lothin Serao, and Pardeep Singh – have been awarded Terry Hibler Memorial Scholarships of $4,000 each by the Regional Airline Association Scholarship Foundation.
 
The scholarships are named in memory of the late Terry Hibler, a longtime RAA associate member who advocated for creating the RAA Scholarship Program and played a pivotal role in transitioning the Scholarship Program into a 501c3 charitable foundation. 
 
Makayla Best, Southwestern Illinois College, is studying aviation management and flight training and is especially interested in the airline industry. Attending a “Women in Aviation” Day through a local university piqued Best’s interest in the profession and an airport tour of St. Louis Lambert International reinforced her determination to join the industry. 

For a report on the current state of the industry, read What About Young People in Flight Training?


Lothin Serao, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is studying aviation business administration and also hopes to advance her dream of becoming a professional pilot. Her passion for flying was inspired in part by her late father, a career military pilot for the Congolese army who spent hours talking with her about what it was like to fly and how being a pilot allowed him to see the world. Citing the prohibitive costs of flight training, Lothin is focusing on Aviation Business Administration to remain in the aviation industry, where she one day hopes to fly the A380. She notes: “Receiving this scholarship will make an incredible change in my life…allowing me to explore my potential in the aviation industry.”

Pardeep Singh, Thomas Edison State University, is studying aviation technology while also working as a regional airline mechanic. Pardeep’s interest in aviation was sparked in childhood. From his home near JFK Airport, Pardeep spent hours trying to read the N number on aircraft flying over. 
 
“In the era of Covid-19, young people are worried about their future,” noted Faye Malarkey Black, RAA President & CEO, “in making this modest contribution to students’ tuition, we are also showing the values of the industry they will one day join, where a sense of community and a steadfast commitment to our shared future runs strong. On behalf of the regional airline community, RAA wishes Makayla, Lothin and Pardeep a lifetime of success.”