New Boeing Scholars at Embry-Riddle Set To Bolster Aviation Talent Pipeline

Boeing Scholarship winners for 2022
This year’s Boeing Scholars at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are Odalis Bonilla from Swannanoa, North Carolina; Ariane Cannon from Mauldin, South Carolina; Lainey Davis from Middle River, Maryland; Celeste Gibson from Lafayette, Colorado; Christian Hardy from Las Vegas, Nevada; Kagan Jenkins from Salem, Indiana; Breck Johnson from Bozeman, Montana; Kaylee Lall from Ringwood, New Jersey; Samuel Low from Salina, California; Damion Quintana-Falabella from Titusvilla, Florida; Enso Sanon from Sanford, Florida; and Alex Santos from Kissimmee, Florida. Not Pictured: Giselle Angulo from Long Beach, California; Elizabeth Liu, from Monrovia, California; and Meikha Nevalta from North Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: Embry-Riddle)

The networking opportunities and financial assistance that Shaddi Abdala received as a Boeing Scholar at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University helped position the recent graduate right where she wants to be — in a two-year job-rotation program offered as an introduction to a full-time position at The Boeing Company.

“Beyond the financial assistance of being a Boeing Scholar, which allowed me to focus on my coursework and become involved in organizations on campus, the program connected me with mentors and leaders in the Boeing organization,” said Abdala, who is a pilot and flight instructor, and hopes to one day fly for Boeing. “Through these connections, I learned to leverage my skills and interests to gain opportunities for my career development.”

This year, Boeing will award additional outstanding high-school graduates with scholarships of $5,000 to $7,500 annually for two years to begin degrees at Embry-Riddle this fall. The scholarships are supported by a $3 million endowment from Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company and leading aircraft manufacturer.

The Boeing Scholars at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University initiative is directed toward students interested in pursuing such studies as aeronautical science and aircraft maintenance at Embry-Riddle — the premier aviation and aerospace institution. The scholarships, which will fund a portion of each scholar’s room and board, are part of an ongoing effort to expand and diversify the aviation workforce.

Boeing Scholar Stats

Key Programs in Aviation

  • 60% - Aeronautical Science (Professional Pilot)
  • 33% - Aviation Maintenance Science

Key Programs From STEM Day

  • 7% - Aerospace Engineering


  • 67% - Female
  • 80% - Underrepresented Populations


  • 4.2+ - Average GPA Score
  • 1,245 - Average SAT Score

Exceptional academic achievement and demonstrated financial need determine which students are chosen. This is the fourth year that students entering Embry-Riddle have been awarded these scholarships.

“The Boeing Scholarship Program is an essential component of Embry-Riddle’s ongoing collaboration with The Boeing Company,” said Embry-Riddle President P. Barry Butler, Ph.D. “As we face a global shortage of aviation professionals, we urgently need to widen the talent pipeline so that it includes students with different perspectives. We are grateful to Boeing for helping us diversify and strengthen the industry and for providing Embry-Riddle students with valuable industry connections.” 

Students chosen for this program are offered benefits, including trips to Boeing facilities, group projects, speaker presentations, meet-and-greets with Boeing employees and interviews that can result in on-the-spot job and internship offers. Also, interns on both Embry-Riddle residential campuses — Daytona Beach, Florida, and Prescott, Arizona — can become Boeing Student Ambassadors, who work closely with Career Services to help prepare students interested in working for Boeing and inform them of available opportunities ahead of fall recruiting.

“Boeing is proud of our continued partnership with Embry-Riddle and the impact it has had, and will continue to have, on students seeking future careers in aviation,” said Cheri Carter, vice president of Boeing Global Engagement. “Through this unique scholarship program, we are equipping our Boeing Scholars with the tools required to do great things in the aerospace industry. We congratulate the fourth cohort of Boeing Scholars, and we look forward to seeing all that they accomplish at Embry-Riddle in their future careers and beyond.”

Boeing hosts some 1,500 summer interns each year, of which about 50 came from Embry-Riddle this year.

Boeing also offers Embry-Riddle a number of other valuable programs for students. The Boeing Career Mentoring Program, a highly selective initiative that matches 30-40 students per year with Embry-Riddle alumni who work at Boeing for formal mentorship, is offered to all students at both residential campuses. The program includes career-preparation advice, as well as regularly scheduled professional development workshops. Career Services leaders at Embry-Riddle’s campuses meet with the Boeing Core Team (Eagle alumni who work at Boeing) for regular status updates.

In addition, Boeing participates in Embry-Riddle research activities, they are represented on college industry advisory boards on campus, and the university takes part in an annual Boeing summit. Boeing has also donated funds to Career Services at both residential campuses to help produce Boeing Development Days, special speaking engagements and events that promote communication and leadership skill development for all students, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

Meet the Class of 2022 Boeing Scholars at Embry-Riddle

All selected scholars are high-performing high school students with exceptional grade-point averages.


  • Elizabeth Liu of Monrovia, California, Monrovia High School
  • Samuel Low of Salinas, California, Salinas High School
  • Giselle Angulo of Long Beach, California, Long Beach Polytechnic High School


  • Celeste Gibson of Lafayette, Colorado, Centaurus High School


  • Ernso Sanon of Sanford, Florida, North Miami SR High School
  • Alex Santos of Kissimmee, Florida Neocity Academy
  • Damion Quintana-Falabella from Titusvilla, Florida, Astronaut High School


  • Kagan Jenkins of Salem, Indiana, Salem High School


  • Lainey Davis of Baltimore, Maryland, Chesapeake High School


  • Breck Johnson of Bozeman, Montana, Bozeman High School


  • Christian Hardy of Las Vegas, Nevada, Rancho High School
  • Meikha Nevalta of North Las Vegas, Nevada, Rancho High School

New Jersey

  • Kaylee Lall of Ringwood, New Jersey, Diana C. Lobosco STEM Academy

North Carolina

  • Odalis Bonilla of Swannanoa, North Carolina, Buncombe County Early College

South Carolina

  • Ariane Cannon of Mauldin, South Carolina, Mauldin High School

Posted In: Aviation | Institutional News