April 16, 2021, SUN ‘n FUN – Lakeland, FL – Allen Reenders of Longmont, Colorado is the winner of the 2021 King Schools and the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) 2021 scholarship. Allen will be using the scholarship to attain his initial CFI and his CFII, and plans to be an active flight instructor for many years to come. The scholarship consists of $5,000 toward flight training and free, lifetime access to all King Schools courses, including lifetime Flight Instructor Refresher Courses (FIRCs). The estimated value of the scholarship is over $18,000.
Like many pilots, Allen’s first flight was with his father. “I was probably 5 or 6 when my dad took me flying for the first time from our hometown airport of Visalia Municipal (KVIS),” said Allen. “After my first flight, my passion was consistently full throttle—Lego airplanes, air shows, flight simulator ‘98, tons of questions for every pilot I ever met, watching planes take off and land, EAA fly-ins.
Allen continued, “As I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of central California, I appreciated my many opportunities to enjoy airplanes. I remember watching the crop dusters from the tops of haystacks, pickup trucks, and farm equipment. I will never forget waving to one of them as a kid. The plane actually rocked its wings and circled me for about a half minute before flying away to work the next field. That pilot has likely long since forgotten that moment, but it is a memory I will never forget. It helps me to remember that any seemingly small thing I, as a pilot, can do for someone else may make a huge impact on their journey towards aviation.
“Once my wife and I got married, we decided to devote our time and energy to paying off our student loan debt. So I worked for a local food company and we devised a plan of action for achieving my aviation goals. I am so grateful for those people in my life and am excited that as an instructor I will to be able to help aspiring pilots and share my passion for flying. Giving back is going to be a blast. Maybe that’s giving an hour or two of free instruction or perhaps it’s an invitation to go fly for lunch somewhere. It could be as simple as a little bit of encouragement. I plan to constantly be aware of my opportunities to promote & encourage pilots.”
Robert Meder, the Chairman of NAFI, said, “The past winners of this scholarship continue to have a really positive influence on the aviation community. This is our 5th year of partnering with King Schools, and we have been fortunate to have an incredible list of recipients who all remain dedicated instructors. We at NAFI are so proud of their achievements, I encourage you to check out their stories and be inspired.”
Past NAFI Scholarship winners who are continuing to contribute to the aviation community include:
John King, Co-Chairman of King Schools, said, “Allen’s enthusiasm is delightful and his focus on achieving a boyhood dream is commendable. He has gone about achieving it in a way that he should be very proud of. He is an exciting, tremendously passionate communicator and he will make a profound and lasting contribution to the aviation community.”
Applications for the 2022 NAFI/King Schools scholarship will become available in August of 2021. The deadline to submit scholarship applications will be January 2nd, 2022.