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Meet the 2023 Class of Boeing Scholars at Embry-Riddle: Empowering the Future of Aviation

In a world where the aviation industry is primed for expansion, financial constraints often hinder aspirants from realizing their dreams. This is where the Boeing Scholars program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University steps in. Awarding scholarships to exceptional freshmen embarking on their journey in aeronautical sciences, this program is shaping the future of aviation.

Meet the 2023 Class of Boeing Scholars at Embry-Riddle: Empowering the Future of Aviation

From Barriers to Opportunities: Kristy Magana

Take aspiring pilot, Kristy Magana, for instance. Magana was an extraordinary high school student who faced financial barriers that almost cut short her dreams of attending Embry-Riddle, her first-choice college. A scholarship award letter from Boeing turned her life around. “This scholarship not only eased my financial burden but also came with perks like participating in group projects, visiting Boeing facilities, and potential internships. It was a turning point in my journey,” said Magana.

Confidence and Empowerment: Everett Young and Lailia Gregston

For Everett Young of Texas, majoring in Aviation Maintenance Science, the Boeing Scholarship was validation that fostered confidence in his career choice. “It tells me that I have the potential to do something great and succeed in my course path, and it helps keep me on track and focused on my studies,” Young said.

Aeronautical Science major Lailia Gregston said the scholarship “empowers me to approach my academic journey with a greater sense of support and enjoyment. This scholarship is helping me to realize my lifelong dream to be an aviator.”

Boeing’s Investment in Future Aviation Leaders

Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, has committed to awarding nine prodigious freshmen scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $7,500 per year for two years. A $3 million endowment backs this initiative to support Aeronautical Science and Aviation Maintenance Science students at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses.

Boeing Scholars: Benefits Beyond Financial Aid

These scholarships do more than just cover room and board. They offer avenues for growth and opportunities for engagement within the aviation industry. From networking events to mentorship opportunities, students can work closely with professionals in the field, garnering valuable insights and experience.

Selection Criteria: Academic Excellence and Financial Need

The candidates are selected based on two crucial criteria: academic brilliance and financial need. Since its inception in 2019, the program has awarded 69 scholarships. This year’s group of students averaged 4.33 GPA scores and 1,314 SAT scores.

Programs and Diversity in Focus

The Boeing Scholars program supports students majoring in various sectors:

  • 78% – Aeronautical Science (Professional Pilot)
  • 11% – Aviation Maintenance Science
  • 11% – Aerospace Engineering
  • 78% female
  • 78% from underrepresented communities

This aligns with Embry-Riddle’s academic diversity and commitment to STEM education.

A Commitment to the Future of Aviation

Critically, the Boeing scholarship program encourages younger generations to pursue their dreams of an aviation career. As Embry-Riddle President P. Barry Butler stated, “As we face a growing need for pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians, and others in the aviation industry, we must broaden the talent pipeline so that it includes students with different perspectives. We are honored to partner with Boeing to enrich and enhance the aviation workforce and the lives of Embry-Riddle students.”

Meet the Class of 2023 Boeing Scholars at Embry-Riddle

The 2023 Class of Boeing Scholars is an ensemble of high-achieving students from diverse states. These students represent the future of aviation.

Meet the 2023 Class of Boeing Scholars at Embry-Riddle


  • Kristy Magana of Hesperia, California, Oak Hills High School

District of Columbia

  • Liyat Tsehai of Washington, DC, Cardoso Education Campus


  • Nyaire Watson of Sun City Center, Florida, Riverview High School


  • Callista Herdt of Alpharetta, Georgia, Creekview High School


  • Lailia Gregston of North Las Vegas, Nevada, Rancho High School

New Jersey

  • Matthew Phillips of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Lenape High School


  • Shii-Ann Madison of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Broken Arrow High School

South Carolina

  • Layla Love of Beaufort, South Carolina, Whale Branch Early College High School


  • Everett Young of Weatherford, Texas, Weatherford High School

Networking and Career Opportunities Await

With Boeing hosting approximately 1,500 summer interns each year and offering numerous programs that provide professional development and career growth, students have much to look forward to.

By recognizing and supporting the aspirations and talents of these young scholars, Boeing and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are advancing individual careers and contributing significantly to the aviation industry’s future. As they say, the sky is not the limit; it’s just the beginning.

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