HELENA — A Helena College student was recently awarded a scholarship in aircraft maintenance.
The scholarship was awarded to Alex Wright, a student at Helena College's Aviation Maintenance Technology program.
“That recognition, it really sends a message to her future employers about her dedication to the field, her, you know, excellence as a scholar and as a future employee. So, I think it's just an excellent opportunity for her to get that jump-start,” says Dean/CEO of Helena College, Sandy Bauman.
The American Airlines Aircraft Maintenance Technician Scholarship is for $5,000 and includes a trip to the Women in Aviation International Conference.
“I wasn't really expecting much in a national competition, but it was really exciting when I got a call from them. And they were like, hey we want you to be here in two weeks. We're gonna show you our hangar. We're gonna make it work,” says Wright.
The Aviation Maintenance Technology program is approved and licensed by the FAA and trains students over a period of 5 semesters to become licensed in the field of aircraft mechanics.
The aviation program even has roots in WWII, used to support the war effort.
As many look to trades over traditional 4-year programs, aviation maintenance can be a viable option for some. For example, Wright was originally planning on becoming a biologist, before switching to the aviation program.
And with less than 7% of aircraft mechanics being women, her scholarship and work in the field are important.
“We need more women in this field. You know, that's a huge part of why I got this scholarship. Not only is the field desperate for people, but it's that they want more women in it,” says Wright.