Feb. 22, 2018
When recipients of NBAA’s scholarships are chosen, it can lead the recipients down new career paths, where possibilities for advancement and new opportunities await.
But when Aleesa (Kurtz) Radoncic, aircraft operations and logistics manager at Orbis International, received a $10,000 Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Training Scholarship in 2006, it did far more than just fund training for her to pursue an FAA dispatcher’s license. It was an event that changed her life professionally, as well as personally.
“The scholarship helped jump-start my training that ultimately launched my business aviation career,” Radoncic said. “Without the $10,000 S&D Scholarship from NBAA, I wouldn’t have attended Flight Safety International LaGuardia in Flushing, NY, wouldn’t have become a licensed dispatcher and I wouldn’t have met my husband.”
Radoncic’s dispatcher training allowed her to network with local business aviation companies where she learned about the variety of career opportunities business aviation has to offer.
“Being a licensed dispatcher helps me tremendously in my role at Orbis as I am able to understand the FAA regulations that we are governed under,” she said. “You can imagine how important it is to understand the international flight plans, regulations, and weight and balance of the world’s only Flying Eye Hospital, Orbis’s 565,000 lbs. maximum takeoff weight MD-10-30F aircraft.”
On the first day of class in June 2007 at Flight Safety LaGuardia, Radoncic met her husband, Emir, who was also training there. They married in 2010, and recently welcomed their third child.
“NBAA has had a great impact on my life, and I’m truly grateful every day how my personal and professional life has turned out, all because of the way I used my scholarship funds,” Radoncic said. “I’ve made lifelong contacts through NBAA S&D activities, and have received several recommendations by other NBAA member companies on vendors to use for services when we need them. It’s great to be a member of this aviation community.”
The NBAA Charities scholarship program, generously supported by NBAA member donors, offers nearly $100,000 annually in cash awards as tuition reimbursement for enrolled students and nearly the same amount in monetary and training awards for working professionals in business aviation, including pilots, maintenance professionals, schedulers, dispatchers, flight attendants and flight technicians.