2020 Scholarship Recipients

The 2020 Scholarship application process has closed. The Scholarship Committee has competed the interview process. The Board expects to announce the recipients of the scholarships and the Type Ratings in the near future.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the recognition ceremony has been postponed.  However, we will post the names of the recipients on this page after all the candidates have been notified.  

The 2021 Scholarship Application process will be announced in April of 2021. 

2019 Scholarship Recipients

Aura Austin – CAE Citation II SIC Type Rating + Stipend

Aura Austin has been awarded the Citation II second-in-command type rating generously donated by CAE. Aura is as nontraditional recipient as she is married and a mother of 2 daughters, graduated from Mankato State University – Mankato with an B.S. in Spanish and Mass Communications. Aura is a member of several aviation organizations including the MBAA, AOPA, Ninety Nines, Women in Aviation, and the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators. Aura is an active flight instructor at North Star Aviation in Mankato. Aura’s passion for aviation has been with her for 20 years and now she is fully immersed in aviation. As an international ferry pilot, Aura has flown in five countries and gained invaluable aeronautical decision-making skills. Aura’s maturity, attention to customer service and desire to be a business aviation pilot make her and ideal candidate for the MBAA highest scholarship. Aura is a recipient the MBAA looks forward to seeing more of in the future.

Willy Mekeel – FlightSafety International ATP Certification Training Program + Stipend

Willy Mekeel has been awarded the ATPCTP Generously donated by FlightSafety International. It includes both ground training and flight training segments. Willy is a nontraditional as he has received his BA and MS degrees from Minnesota State University – Mankato and is pursing a PhD from the U of M. Willy is married and the father of 3 children. Willy’s road to aviation has been winding and over the past couple of years he has completed his multi-engine rating, instrument rating and commercial license, all while enrolled in a PhD course, teaching at Riverland Community College, working at TacAero and raising a family. Willy has participated in Young Eagle Flights and is a mentor in the Big Brothers of America program. Willy’s drive, goal orientation, and responsibility will be an asset to the MBAA and business aviation.

Joshua Wolbeck - $5,000 Maintenance Training Scholarship

Joshua Wolbeck is the recipient of a $5,000 maintenance training scholarship. Joshua will be graduating from Northland Community and Technical College in August 2019 and plans to continue his studies for a BA in Aviation Management. While in high school and in college, Joshua has been a leader. He was captain of his football and track team, a National Honor Society member and is a member of the college Professional Aviation Maintenance Association and of the student senate. During the summer break and weekends, Joshua works for the Moorhead Aviation Services as an avionics technician. Joshua is the type of person the MBAA is proud to support and much needed in business aviation.

Jasper Omwoyo - $2,000 Flight Training Scholarship

Jasper Omwoyo is the recipient of a $2,000 flight training scholarship. Jasper is a student at Minnesota State University – Mankato and plans to graduate summer 2019. Jasper participates in the YMCA Brother/Sister Mentoring Program and is a member of Alpha Eta Rho and in May 2019, attended the MAC Part 139 Boot Camp. In 2014, Jasper attended the Minnesota Aviation Career Education camp on a scholarship. He stated "No one in my family or immediate circle had ever been a pilot, the camp proved to me that I could become the first pilot in my family." Jasper’s passion and wide spectrum of capabilities are needed in the MBAA and in business aviation.

 Peter Hessedal - $2,000 Flight Training Scholarship

Peter Hessedal is the recipient of a $2,000 flight training scholarship. Peter is another nontraditional recipient. Peter graduated from the University of Phoenix with a B.S. degree in Business Management. For nearly 20 years Peter has never given up on becoming a professional pilot. Peter’s desire, determination and creativity in weathering the economic challenges of life have served him will. Those traits will also well serve the MBAA and business aviation.

Alex Borgen - $2,000 Flight Training Scholarship

Alex Borgen is the recipient of a $2,000 flight training scholarship. Alex is a student at Lake Superior College - Duluth and plans to graduate summer 2019 with an AAS– Professional Pilot degree. Alex has worked as a dispatcher for the Lake Superior College flight program and as a Manager for Beaver Air Tours in Duluth. As a Manager, Alex worked with the customers, developed flight schedules, assisted with aircraft upkeep and experienced the hard work and dedication it takes to keep the doors open at a small business. Alex has the talents and personality the MBAA is proud to support and is needed in business aviation.

 Bradley Ramin - $2,000 Flight Training Scholarship

Bradley Ramin is the recipient of a $2,000 flight training scholarship. Bradley graduated from U of M – Morris in May 2018, with a B.A. degree in Biology. Bradley is now enrolled at Minnesota State University – Mankato in the Aviation-Professional Flight Program and plans to graduate in May 2020. Bradley has studied abroad in Thailand and this year taught English online to 5 to 12 year-old children in China. At MSU-M, Bradley is a member of the Aviation Club, the Flight Team, and the WIA Northern Lights Chapter. At the U of M-M, Bradley was involved in several organizations including the Morris Campus Student Association. Bradley’s drive to make this change and his dedication are the traits the MBAA and business aviation are proud to support.

 Jessica Anderson - $2,000 Flight Training Scholarship

Jessica Anderson is the recipient of a $2,000 flight training scholarship. Jessica graduated from the U of M with a B. S. degree in Biology. Jessica is currently finishing her 2nd year at Academy College, Bloomington, MN, in the Commercial Pilot Associates Degree program. Jessica has participated in the Girls in Aviation Day and other community activities including Feed my Starving Children. This summer Jessica plans to complete her flight instructor and began instructing this fall. When she has sufficient flight time, Jessica plans to fly with a regional airline to build her jet time and then seek a position as a pilot in the world of business aviation. Jessica represents what the MBAA and business aviation are proud to support.

Keyahna Kurilla - $1,700 Flight Training Scholarship

Keyahna is the recipient of a $1,700 flight training scholarship. Keyahna is truly the most nontraditional award recipient offered by the MBAA. Keyahna attended the MN Aviation Career Education camp, has soloed and is working to complete her private pilot training. This fall Keyahna will be a junior at Brainerd High School. Keyahna is also enrolled at the Central Lakes College PSEO program. She is a member of the Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association, the WAI Northern Lights Chapter, President of the FFA-Brainerd Chapter and Editor-in-Chief of the Brainerd High School Yearbook. Also, during the past 3 years, Keyahna has participated in the Women Venture Event at Oshkosh. This summary only touches the activities Keyahna is involved in and her drive to become a professional pilot. She represents the best of today’s young people. The MBAA is proud to support Keyahna and she needs to be recruited by business aviation.

The 2021 Scholarship Application process will be announced in April of 2021.

Minnesota Business Aviation Association (MBAA)

MBAA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

3800 East 70th Street

Minneapolis, MN 55450


MBAA (C) 2020

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