Scholarship Recipients

Lauren Douglas

lauren douglas

College Degree: BS in Aviation Science & Mgmt
GPA: 3.42

Essay excerpt:

I started my path at Middle Georgia State University in January 2018 studying Aviation Science and Management to become a commercial pilot. I completed my first three semesters of aviation courses with straight As and plan to continue with equivalent success. I am excited to be on this journey pursuing my passion. Aviation has been a spark on the sideline of my life waiting to blaze full‐thrust at the forefront of my professional career. My next step after earning my degree and becoming a pilot is to be a flight instructor. I can’t wait to use my past education experience and current aviation studies to teach the next generation of pilots.

I enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Reservist in August 2014. Currently, my job with the Air Force allows me to combine my education experience, artistic background and flight interest by serving as a Photojournalist and Public Affairs Specialist. News articles and editing parallels my history in education, while photography and creative writing harnesses my love for the arts. Traveling, with access to aircraft and flight lines, continues to drive my attraction to aviation. I thoroughly enjoy my career with the Air Force, as well as my continuing education at Middle Georgia State University and I am ready to take my aviation aspirations to the next level.

I am incredibly honored to receive this scholarship for my continued academic endeavors. Thank you for your monetary support in assisting me and students like me to pursue our dreams. It is a tremendous and thoughtful contribution to relieve a portion of the burden that the costs of education can be on a student. I appreciate Greg Coln and Mary LoVerde for establishing this fund for students in aviation.


Nicole Koenig

nicole koenig

Degree: BS in Aviation Science & Mgmt
GPA: 3.49

Essay excerpt:

Today, I'm forging toward my dream of becoming an airline pilot.

Although soaring through the air has now become my greatest ambition, music will always remain a powerful element in my life. Not only has it fed my soul but it has been a gateway to connection.

Two areas that music has made it easier for me to delve into have been the special needs community and the lives of senior citizens. Both of which touch my heart in special ways. I have a brother with autism and a grandmother, who is soon to be 90 years old. Through them, I became aware of the need to reach out to these type of individuals. Too often society does not know how to build relationships or even approach someone elderly or considered different. Music though can easily become a bridge between the divide. While my main ambitions now lie in the field of aviation and I could not be more excited to embark on what this journey has in store for me, I am glad that music has indirectly led me down this path.

I have worked ahead a lot on the academic end since I have been in high school to get as many of my core requirements taken care of as possible. This has allowed me to have very few academic classes left, with only the flight portion remaining. However; the flight portion also happens to be the most expensive aspect to me pursuing my career. Thanks to people like you it helps to make chasing my dream of becoming an airline pilot all the more attainable. You can’t imagine how much this means to me. I am truly grateful for your gift!


Amanda Denton

amanda denton

Degree: BS in Aviation Science & Mgmt
GPA 3.83

Essay excerpt:

I am a private pilot with an instrument rating and a tail‐wheel endorsement. I am currently training for my commercial license.

I have always had a passion for aviation. I earned flight time by participating as a student in the Candler Field Youth Aviation Program. This program was started by Ron Alexander with a purpose to impart knowledge to local youth about aviation. I helped restore aircraft for 3 years in high school and in return, received aircraft flight time. With this flight time, I was able to get my private pilot license.

My dream has always been to be a pilot for Delta Air Lines. By the time I finish college, I will have my multi‐commercial rating. As soon as I have 1,500 hours of flight time, I plan to fly for a regional airline to continue to build time and prepare myself for Delta Air Lines, where I will spend the duration of my career.

Thank you for choosing me to be awarded this scholarship; I truly appreciate it! It will be so helpful in paying for my education.


Lacey Needham

lacey needham

Degree: BS in Aviation Science & Mgmt
GPA: 3.76

Essay excerpt:

From volunteering my time to the community, to being the best athlete I could be, to excelling in academics, I have always been striving to be the best version of myself. I was born into a family that was too competitive for their own good, and that carried over to my personal drive to be successful. Growing up, my family preached about the importance of good grades. It became second nature for me to strive for the best grades possible, and my schoolwork took priority over everything else.

When I realized I wanted to be a pilot, I was a force to be reckoned with. I begged my father to let me join the Aerocare Flying Club at my local airport, and he soon caved. It wasn’t long before I obtained my private license. In seven months, I became a pilot, while maintaining a 3.9 GPA, playing two varsity sports, and still managing to get the most out of my senior year of high school. I fell in love with aviation, and found Middle Georgia State University, a school known for their aviation program.

My goal is to earn the rest of my ratings and certificates, including my CFI and CFII. Once I have those, I plan on staying in the program after graduation and instructing students with the same passion as me. I look forward to the day that I can help someone else’s dreams come true, just as mine are beginning to. I plan to work at MGA until I build up enough flight hours to go to a regional airline. And from there, hopefully a major airline is waiting for me.

Thank you so much for choosing me for your scholarship! Flying has been my passion ever since I was a little girl, and the only reason I’m able to pursue it is because of scholarships like yours. You are helping me to accomplish my dreams and I cannot say thank you enough.


Lacey Needham

lacey needham

Essay excerpt:

When I was eleven years old, I went to my first Blue Angels Air Show. When I was seventeen, I soloed an airplane for the first time. Soon after turning eighteen, I was a private pilot. This past year I have accomplished a lot: I became a commercial pilot with an instrument add on, I became a Republic Airways cadet, and I started an internship at Delta Air Lines. I am nowhere near my end goal. I have over 700 hours of flight time left until I am eligible for the airlines, four check rides still ahead, and a heartbreaking amount of debt to pay off. However, the idea of coming into work and being able to love what I do every day is something that makes the long road ahead of me endurable and enjoyable.

My goal is now to earn the rest of my ratings and certificates, including my CFI, CFII, and MEI. Once I have those, I plan on staying in the program after graduation and instructing students with the same passion as me. I plan to work here until I build up enough flight hours to go to a regional airline. After that, hopefully a major airline is waiting for me. I plan to stay involved with the MGA community, for they have given me so much already and I want to pay that back. I look forward to the day I get to tell my children about my college experience, and I would be proud if they chose the same route that I did.


Carrie Trammell

carrie trammell

Degree: BS in Aviation Science & Mgmt
GPA: 3.28

Essay excerpt:

After graduating from MGA I would like to become an airline pilot. My interest in aviation began when I was 11 years old and took my first commercial flight from Georgia to Minnesota to visit my grandparents. I remember loving everything about my experience: the airport atmosphere, boarding, how the ground looked from so high up, and especially take‐off and landings. It was this experience and the others in the following years that sparked my love for aviation. As I grew older and started to think about my career and what I wanted to do with my life I remembered how I felt while flying. This led me to look into it and the steps I would need to undergo more seriously. I also learned about the pilot shortage and everything just seemed to fall in place.

When some people think of success or successful people they might think of Bill Gates or Michael Phelps, and while these people are definitely successful, that is not really what I am going for. Success to me does not just mean being very wealthy or high in status. Success to me means that I have used all my resources, given my all, and have never let fear stop me in anything I am doing. In a way, I already consider myself successful up to this point in my life. I am in college, I am doing well in college, I am pursuing my dreams and ambitions, I am challenging myself every day to improve my knowledge and my life, and I am exactly where I need to be.

Please accept my highest level of gratitude for being awarded this scholarship. Any form of help in my career is very valuable to me and financial help is especially appreciated. I take my studies very seriously and will stop at nothing to achieve my goals and dreams and so I thank you for being a helping hand with this.


Rachel Robinson

rachel robinson

Essay excerpt:

I am a single mother of two children- one son and one daughter who I hope will follow my footsteps and be attending MGA. I believe that I am my children's example of perseverance and determination. My professional goal is to eventually obtain employment at the Warner Robins Air Force Base continuing my education to obtain a Logistic Management Degree. I would like to eventually become a supervisor and an instructor.


Abigial Cross

abigail cross

Essay excerpt:

Transitioning from active duty Air Force after an eleven-year career to full-time college student has been a challenge. I am also raising my young son. But Middle Georgia State University has been wonderful, and I have been excelling in my classes as well as in my flight training. I have been selected to test at Delta Air Lines for the prestigious Delta Propel program. Selection into this program has been my goal from the very beginning and I am now well on my way with the first step thanks to Middle Georgia State University.


Dana Lampkin

dana lampkin

Essay excerpt:

Aviation is only a piece of what I ultimately want to reach. After I get my license to fly I plan to stay in school to learn about horticulture and business. Although these seem very different, they all are very important for my dream career. I want to use these professions to build an Outreach Garden/ Farm. My goal is to feed as many people as I can with fresh and healthy foods. Aviation allows me to reach a lot more people. Horticulture allows me start and maintain a garden/farm. And lastly, knowledge in business allows me to be able to run the garden/farm in an orderly and professional way.


Jada Duncan

jada duncan

Essay excerpt:

My aviation journey began as a dream that matured into a definitive career goal at my high school graduation. The commitment followed shortly with articles, videos and models. A discovery flight in the summer of 2018 cemented the inner drive. I have been able to complete thirty-five hours of dual flight instruction in pursuit of my Private Pilot Certificate. I am a holder of a 1st class medical certificate and a student pilot certificate with a solo endorsement in the Diamond DA20. My ultimate destination is the left seat in the cockpit of a commercial airliner, armed with the knowledge and competence to serve this industry in the greatest way possible.

Reflecting on the words of Bessie Coleman, ‘The air is the only place free from prejudice’. Spurring me on, is that glaring truth that the Newtonian laws bears down on each one of us, regardless of race or class. I want to do my part in advocating for fairness and diversity in the skies.


Lane Barrows

lane barrows

Essay excerpt:

Having family involved in aviation, I started exploring the possibility of a career in aviation. After taking a discovery flight and a tour of the Middle Georgia State University School of Aviation, I decided that it might be a career path for me. I enrolled in the flight program and quickly found a passion for aviation. I have maintained a 4.0 GPA while in the program and completed all FAA exams with a grade of A. Currently I am working on my instrument rating after having received my private pilot license in the fall of 2019.

I currently serve on the Campus Activities Board and serve as Treasurer for the local Women in Aviation chapter. In 2014, a CrossFit gym opened in my hometown, and this started a new passion. I became very committed to CrossFit and in 2017 was ranked 2nd in the state of Georgia as well as 80th worldwide. My commitment to nutrition and fitness continues; I have worked as a volunteer CrossFit coach for over a year, coaching a kids' class three days per week, helping to promote and initiate an interest in physical fitness in children. In addition, I continue to train daily and compete in CrossFit competitions.

Being my best at whatever I do has always been important to me. I hope to become the best pilot that I can be and serve with integrity wherever I may be employed throughout my career. I feel that physical fitness will always be an important part of my life, and I plan to make it a lifelong commitment. Ultimately, I just hope to be a productive person who is an asset to my employer, having a successful career and a lasting commitment to give back to society in any way I can through my time, talents, and resources.


Lauren Leckemby

lauren leckemby

Essay excerpt:

My life goal has always been to be very involved in the community as often as possible. Staying busy and involved not only benefits the community, but it also gives a sense of self worth and importance. My ultimate goal in life is to make the biggest positive impact that I can, and make sure people know that God put us here to serve and benefit others. I plan on becoming a private or commercial pilot to help others get to their destination safely. I will be sure to come back and empower women that are thinking about being in aviation, to make sure this program gets the credit it deserves. I could not be more grateful to be in the position I am in today.

Thank you so much for choosing me for this scholarship. I am currently working as a server to pay for hours and tuition among other things. This helps me out tremendously and I am so grateful. Words can’t describe how glad I am.


Mindy Oxley

mindy oxley

Essay excerpt:

I obtained my private pilot license in April 2021 and I am currently working to obtain my instrument rating at MGA. I am a Junior at Middle Georgia State University and my current GPA is 3.85. I have been on the President's List at MGA in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021. My career plans after I get my licenses and ratings is to work as a certified flight instructor at MGA on the Eastman campus. After I build the required flight hours, I’d like to fly with PSA or Endeavor and eventually go to a major airline such as Delta Air Lines or Atlas. My personal goals in life are to stay focused and motivated no matter the circumstances, to not stress as much when things are difficult, and to always believe that I can do whatever I set my mind to accomplish.

I would like to thank the people who made this scholarship possible. You have no idea how much I appreciate your support and how much this scholarship means to me. This scholarship will help me pay for my flight training to make me one step closer to becoming an airline pilot. My love and passion for aviation is more that I would be able to explain. I very much enjoy every day that I get to do my flight training. I'm so happy to know that my hard work has paid off.


Bailey Taylor

bailey taylor

Essay excerpt:

I started taking college level classes in high school. I was lucky enough to be able to dual enroll in my high school and the local community college. While I was juggling college classes along with my high school classes, I was also volunteering in one of my high school’s special needs classrooms. I started volunteering in the special needs classroom in my Sophomore year of high school during my free period. I continued volunteering until I graduated and racked up over 800 community service hours.

I plan on becoming an airline pilot for Delta and eventually own a couple of my own small planes. I would love to eventually come back to MGA as a flight instructor.

Thank you so much! This scholarship will greatly help me in pursuing my dream of becoming an airline pilot one day soon!


Sarais Rosado-Hernande

sarais rosado-hernande

Essay excerpt:

As a freshman, I quickly found out I needed a job to pay for my flights with the school and living expenses. I began to work at Walmart as a sales associate. I worked fast and often volunteered to help out in other areas of the store such as unloading the truck and stocking ailes. All of my job experiences have made me a better employee.

When I began my studies at Middle Georgia I came with the ambition to become one of the few female pilots in the airlines. Then I started looking for other aviation-related careers and almost instantly I realized that aviation maintenance was my vocation. As a child growing up I always followed my dad around the garage while he worked on cars and other projects. I made the decision to change my flight concentration and to have a dual major in Aviation Science and Management with a concentration in management and maintenance technology. This not only allows me to have a career in something I have become fond of but also obtain a bachelor's degree. I still love to fly and will continue my flight training to obtain my instrument rating to fly recreationally.

I have been blessed with many things in life and when I graduate I will make MGA proud for educating me.


Anastasia Thorpe

anastasia thorpe

Essay excerpt:

I am currently in the AMT program, which is a male dominated program. I plan to get my private pilots license and a degree in airport management from MGA.

Thank you for this amazing opportunity. With my mom being a single mother providing for me and my brother during COVID, money can be tight. I am excited to go off into the world of aviation as a woman, being able to make a difference and represent MGA.


Alegra Graham

alegra graham

Essay excerpt:

My family has made many sacrifices to allow me to focus on education. I now have an opportunity to join a small percentage of women in a male dominated field and become an Aviation Maintenance Technician, though I need financial assistance to realize what has been a long-term goal for me and a dream for my parents.

I am honored to be one of this year's recipients of The Captain Greg Coln Women in Aviation Scholarship. I am currently in the Aviation Maintenance Technician Program. My dedication and passion for Aviation Maintenance has allowed me to achieve a GPA of 3.8. In addition to my academic pursuits, I am actively involved in residential life on the Cochran campus serving as a Residential Assistant (RA), and I was also recently inducted into The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS). After my scheduled graduation in May 2022, I plan to pursue a career as an Aviation Mechanic in order to contribute to the aviation industry.

Thank you again for enabling me to reach my fullest personal and professional potential.


Amani Baker

amani baker

Essay excerpt:

Throughout my time here at Middle Georgia State University (MGA), I have prided myself on staying active and giving back to our community. After graduation, I plan to stay engaged with MGA by volunteering in the aviation program. I also plan to be fortunate enough to give a scholarship. I find it to be an unfortunate situation that some students are unable to attend college because of finances. I was unable to keep my resident assistant job because of how demanding it was with my schedule. My current job does not pay enough to cover my cost of tuition, and because of it, I cannot receive any loans. I hope to one day be able to give to a student so that they can continue to follow their dreams.

It has been an honor to have been selected for The Captain Greg Coln Women in Aviation Scholarship award. I am truly grateful for the scholarship support. This scholarship allows me to work less hours and focus on my studies and additional educational opportunities. Thank you for your support in aiding me towards the investment of my future.


Amanda Perdomo

amanda perdomo

Essay excerpt:

Looking at my past experiences, swimming has played a major role developing discipline to do important task such as studying to become a pilot. I have been a swimmer for seven years, and have competed in hundreds of events. Throughout all of my many years of swimming, I have felt like giving up because I was struggling to perfect certain movements in swimming, but I never gave up. I kept pushing myself and trying my best to get better. Additionally, taking the pressure of being captain of the team wasn’t easy, but with the support from my coaches and teammates, I was able to become a better swimmer and person. With practice and teamwork, I was able to develop discipline and respect for myself and people around me. Because of my experience in swimming, I am able to push forward in doing what I want in life. In this time of my life, I need discipline in order to become a pilot. I need to be able to push myself and others because being a pilot isn’t just solo work, it is teamwork.


Jada Duncan

jada duncan

Essay excerpt:

My aviation journey began as a dream that matured into a definitive career goal at my high school graduation. My ultimate destination is the left seat in the cockpit of a commercial airliner, armed with the knowledge and competence to serve this industry in the best way possible.

I have kept the spirit of family and community alive by participating and volunteering at on-campus activities. I am an active member of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, having participated in their Aerospace Career Education programs since becoming a member in 2018 and benefited tremendously from their mentorship network. I am an active member of the Heart of Georgia Chapter of Women in Aviation International. I have been involved in community service through outreach programs at my local church and actively strive to bring this caring and sharing to campus life.


Ansley Balberde

ansley balberde

Essay excerpt:

My end goal is to be a commercial pilot with a major airline like Delta. I can’t think of any job that I’d want to do more than flying and I will be so prepared for it due to the awesome program in Eastman. I’ll spend a few years earning my degree and licenses at Middle Georgia and then once I’m a Certified Flight Instructor, I hope to stay and teach here. After that I’lll start at a regional airline and then work my way up. My career plan coincides with my personal goals because I am so passionate and invested in my flight path that it doesn’t feel like a career. But, I hope to always feel so excited about being a pilot and enjoying waking up in the morning to go and work.

Thank you so much for awarding me this scholarship! It is so unbelievably beneficial to my education and flight training. I hope to do you proud with your amazing financial support!