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 were 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 pursuing my dream of flying for a major airline and am actively giving back to women pursuing 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 certificates 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 others reach their potential too.
Have Fun & Fly Safe!