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Although American Flyers is proud to offer this program, our real reward comes from hearing about how this scholarship enabled a recipient to achieve their goals in aviation. So we look forward to seeing this page grow with past and future scholarship winners. If you are a past recipient (1990-2005) please contact us and if you are a future recipient, you will be hearing from us in hopes of adding your story.

Kelly McDermott Davies

I am Kelly McDermott Davies and received the 1991 Judith Resnik Scholarship from American Flyers. The scholarship provided me with my Flight Engineer and Airline Transport Pilot Written Ground Schools.

In 1991, I graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana with my BS in Aviation Studies. I was a CFI/CFII working on my MEI and felt I needed help taking the last few written exams in a formal setting. I had a dream to become an airline pilot since I was 5 years old.

At the end of 1991 I was at the right place at the right time which is key in aviation. I was giving ME Instruction and ferrying light twins around the Caribbean and noticed a little airline named Sunaire Express. I had 800 TT and 100 Multi Engine. (most of the 100 hours ME I flew around on one engine teaching so it's funny it counts as multi-engine). I was offered a position as a First Officer on a Twin Otter DHC-6. I had just turned 22 and was living my dream flying 1200 hours a year, landing on sand and doing up to 18 segments a day. I was fortunate to make Captain a couple years later.

In March, 1994, I was hired by Atlantic Southeast Airlines and flew the Bandarante E-110 and E-120 Brasilia. My dream came true when United Airlines called me for an interview in March, 1995.

I have been with United Airlines for nearly 18 years now having flown the 727, 737, 757, 767 and A-320/319. While my 21 years as a member of the Airline Pilots Association has been tough at times, I can not imagine a more rewarding career. I have seen the most amazing things and worked with great people I respect. I have received world class training and every once in awhile I look outside on pushback and am so excited still I'm about to go fly.

I still think about receiving the Judith Resnik scholarship after all I have accomplished. Being chosen and honored by American Flyers gave me confidence. It told me that people believed in me and were behind me supporting me! At this stage of my career I think this was just as important as receiving the ground school. Receiving a scholarship in the name of such an accomplished woman is an honor to this day. I have an idea how hard Judith had to work to become an electrical engineer and space shuttle mission specialist. I skipped school to see both of her shuttle missions being an avid fan of the space shuttle and still remember it's first mission when I was in the 6th grade. Women like Judith told me it was possible for girls like me to aim high and that dreams come true.

Thank you Judith for the example you set and many thanks to American Flyers and the committee that makes these scholarship possible for young women helping them financially and telling them their dreams can come true.


Paige "Kelly" McDermott Davies



Lynn Houston

American Flyers and the Judith Resnik Scholarship have played a pivotal role in my life as an aviator. I joined Flyers as a intern so long ago I can't even remember, but I worked my way up to Chief Pilot of the Santa Monica school. When I left American Flyers in 1998 to fly cargo,  I had an ATP along with my CFIAI Single and Multi-Engine Instructor ratings. Six month later I was hired by a great regional carrier SkyWest Airlines and received my type in the EMB 120, CRJ 600 and CRJ 700. I was a Captain on the CRJ 700 when I left in 2006.

I am currently the Founder and Executive Director of a non-profit organization called A Different Point of View,  whose   mission is to Engage, Inspire and Transform youth who are at-risk of losing their way. Using flying lessons as a launching pad we hope to show them, most who have never been farther than their neighborhood, that the world is bigger and has more to offer than they could ever imagine. We give them several hours in an airplane and teach them that they are the captains of their destiny. They literally learn to see their world from a different point of view. ADifferentPointofView.org

Thanks to American Flyers and the Judith Resnik Scholarship my life in aviation has been and still is extremely rewarding.

Never forget, all things are possible.

Lynn Houston

Sherry Murdock

I was very pleased to earn The Judith Resnik Scholarship.  I then used the My CFI and CFII and took my First Flying Job at March Air Force Base/CFI/CFII.  I enjoyed instructing so much I ended up teaching for 8 years.  I also flew night freight for UPS in The Embarer 110, C402 and Cessna Caravan.  I currently fly for Cape Air , Hyannis, MA.  I fly in all regions-Caribbean, Florida, Maryland, Missouri and in the North East. 

I am very grateful for the Judith Resnik Scholarship and hope other female Pilots will use it to their advantage.  


Sherry Murdock

Lara (Greenwood) Jaugust

I was a lucky recipient of the Judith Resnik Memorial Scholarship in 2001 and completed my CFI and CFI-I at American Flyers in Addison, TX in September of that year. It was a tumultuous time in aviation, and I wasn't sure where I would end up, but after getting my ratings, I returned to my home just outside of Boston, MA, to teach at the flight school where I had learned to fly. Shortly thereafter, I was offered a job in the right seat of a King Air.

After a year, during which I continued to teach as well as fly corporate, I suffered my first aviation lay-off, but I was not deterred. I applied for a job as a contract First Officer at Alpha Flying, Inc., an operator of Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. I got that job, and shortly was offered a full time position, then upgrade to Captain in the Spring of 2004.

All along I felt like I was destined to contribute more, so I offered my services to the company and they hired me as Assistant Director of Training, where I helped develop the training program that was approved by the FAA under 91 subpart K for fractional operations in early 2005. I took the reins as Director of Training 1 year later and have been doing that ever since.  In that time I have been responsible for initial, upgrade, transition, and recurrent ground and flight training for all of our First Officers and Captains. I love that I have the opportunity to fly, teach, and be home with my family every night.  I credit the Judith Resnik scholarship with helping me to achieve that goal.

Ava (Sumpter) Shubat

I am currently a corporate pilot with a Fortune 500 where I serve as a Captain and Safety Officer. I still do occasional bi-annual signoffs as a CFI in my local area. Additionally, I am Major in the Air Force Reserves and serve as a Liaison Officer to the Civil Air Patrol where I use many skills learned as a CFI.  I am now type rated in the DA50, DA10, and Learjet, and am a Gold Seal Certified Flight Instructor. I have my B.S. in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and am currently finishing my Masters in Aeronautical Science. I am a FAASTeam representative.

My Judith Resnik Memorial Scholarship was used at the Santa Monica, California facility. The school gave me the comprehensive training to be well prepared to teach not only in flight, but also in ground school, which I find equally important. The training helped me to pass my CFI and CFII checkride the first time around. I later went on to earn my MEI. The scholarship helped me to later attain my FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor after my first ten successful checkride signoffs. Additionally, without the scholarship assistance I would have not obtained my CFI and CFII until much later on and therefore would have missed many opportunities the last fifteen years. I still have my manuals and lesson plans and consider them to be valuable resources. I hope to go back to full time instructing of some sort after retirement.

Thank you so much for your assistance in being a part in attaining my dreams!

Very Sincerely,

Ava (Sumpter) Shubat

Christie M. Battle

I was a 1998 recipient of the Judith Resnik Memorial Scholarship. I completed my CFI at American Flyers in Dallas, Texas. 

I am very active in the Air Force Auxiliary (CAP) I serve as a standardization check pilot. I also serve as a IP Instructor Pilot for the Air Force Auxiliary. I just flew with a former B-52 pilot last night to keep him current on instruments. We are also a part of the Home Land Security.  I am mission qualified and with counter drug clearance.  

I continued with my flight training and am now multi-engine qualified. 
With 1100+ hours I am in the process of being approved with Mission Aviation Fellowship/Europe. After going to Kenya two years ago I know that it is my mission in life to support missionaries with aviation support. MAF/Europe have four openings in Kenya. I am hoping to fill one of those openings.  

The Judith Resnik Scholarship was a dream of a life time. Thank You!!! I want to better mankind through the training I received through American Flyers.
Please continue to offer this scholarship.

 Sincerely,  Christie M. Battle CFII/M

Angela D. Wittenberg

My Journey is still in progress, but since the scholarship and subsequent CFI/CFII ratings, I have been extremely fortunate. My primary employment is with the U.S. Government as a wild-land firefighter. However, since I have the ratings and experience, my employer has granted me the opportunity to fly the King Air B200C as co-pilot mapping wild-land fires at night; consequently building precious twin turbine, IFR, night and cross-country time. This summer I was also detailed the the Redmond Air Group in Central Oregon as a Sherpa (C-23A) co-pilot dropping smoke jumpers and para-cargo. I am hoping to get on full time of course but am very happy right now with the afforded  opportunities. 

The scholarship has helped me in two ways: 1) it has helped gain the respect of my peers - since earning the CFI/CFII ratings and gaining the Instructing experience shows depth of knowledge and experience. 2) I have gained a great sense of pride and confidence that comes with the CFI/CFII ratings. 

As far as helping women achieve their goals in aviation: I have introduced two female friends recently to the beauty and awesomeness of flight. More importantly however, for humanity as a whole, helping other women in aviation achieve their goals is not where it should end. Goal achievement and progress is for women everywhere in whichever endeavor. They can see that there are those of us who ARE successful in our careers - as pilots, firefighters, business owners, bankers, professional mountain climbers, writers, etc..

It's just a matter of being pro-active and LIVING by example. There's my soap box!

Sincerely,  Angela D. Wittenberg

Deborah Downey

When I first completed my CFI, I worked for American Flyers in Cleveland as a flight Instructor. It was there I instructed weekend ground school classes which really taught me how to teach, as every class was different and each student was at different stages in their flying.  The staff was incredibly supportive and the environment made it easier for me who was learning how to teach, fly and plan the next week also!  I remember being totally intimidated, until the day I worked as a CFI with a client with many years flying experience who was working on a CFI reinstatement.  We were working on cross country planning when I realized that he couldn't plan a low-altitude flight because he had not done  so for many years.  The light bulb went on! 

One year ago I moved to Cleveland Airsports, still as a part-time instructor.  I moved because I wanted a new challenge of flying with the same student from start to finish.  It has been very gratifying to take a student from start to finish and have the examiner tell me that the student was well prepared.  Watching my first solo student has been a special highlight also.

My plan always has been to retire early from my full time job as a nurse practitioner and instruct full time.  I am slowly working my way towards that goal, multi ratings are up next and then ATP.   I continue to instruct part time and that early retirement is in sight! 

Sincerely,   Deborah Downey

Stacey Wareham-Clayton

My name is Stacey Wareham-Clayton and I was the proud and grateful recipient of the January 2014 Judith Resnik Memorial Scholarship. I graduated from Central Texas College and Texas A&M University-Central Texas with degrees in Aviation Science & Professional Pilot in May 2013. I used this scholarship for my CFI initial and CFII add on at the Pompano Beach, FL location under the expert guidance and mentorship of Chief CFI Ground Instructor Patrick Connell. The forty five days I spent at the CFI Academy where life changing and I owe this opportunity to Judith Resnik, her family, and the professional staff at American Flyers.

Upon graduating from the Academy I was immediately hired at US Aviation Academy in Denton, Texas where I instructed an array of students with international, military, and domestic backgrounds. Within six months of my employment I was promoted to a Part 141 Check Instructor and CFI Team Leader tasked with performing stage checks and check rides under our self examining authority from the FAA.  During my time at USAA I maintained a 100% first time pass rate for all of my students thanks to the invaluable instruction skills I learned at the Academy and also from the critiques of my fellow CFI Academy colleagues, which has led to my Gold Seal Flight Instructor.

I am still climbing through the flight levels toward my career goals and am currently a Part 121 Airline Pilot for Republic Airways flying the EMB 170 and 175 all over the United States and internationally. I am still pursing my dream of flying for a major airline and am actively giving back to women pursing aviation as a pilot mentor and CFI ground instructor.

If I could advise someone considering applying for this scholarship, DO IT! This scholarship gave me the opportunity to start my career and helped me gain confidence in myself as a professional pilot. Throughout all of my certificates, ratings, and licenses I have relied on quotes for inspiration during the tough times, and have often given them to my students when I see them struggle. My favorite quote by Ralph Emerson is:

                 “Don’t waste your life in doubts and fears:  spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it.”

In closing, the Judith Resnik Memorial Scholarship not only helped me but also allowed me to help other’s reach their potential too.

Have Fun & Fly Safe!—Stacey Wareham-Clayton

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