In 2014, Valerie’s family started the LT Valerie Cappelaere Delaney Memorial Scholarship through Women in Aviation International (WAI) organization, of which Val was a member. WAI provides educational outreach and resources to assist women in aviation and to encourage young women to consider aviation as a career. In addition, WAI promotes the public understanding of the accomplishments and contributions of women in aviation. Val was especially passionate about this organization, always encouraging fellow female aviators to attend their annual conference. She advocated and embodied female mentorship in the Naval Aviation community, inspiring other women to follow in her footsteps.
We started with a $1,000 scholarship and have been able to increase the amount over the years to now a $5,000 scholarship for 2017. We have built a tight bond with each year’s scholarship recipients and have been able to continue to support them along their aviation journeys through connecting with them at WAI conference each year.
For more information about the scholarship and how to apply, visit: http://www.wai.org/education/scholarship_list_2015.cfm
The 2017 scholarship recipient is Sinead Kirnan
of Newburgh, NY who will be using the $5,000 towards earning her private pilot’s license as part of her journey towards Air Force Aviation. Sinead is currently a C-17 Loadmaster with the Air National Guard, 105th Airlight Wing based in Newburgh, NY. She is finishing her BA in Biology in May at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz with an impressive 3.79 GPA. When she’s not in school or on base, she has been working towards completing her private pilot’s license so that she can eventually go through flight school and Officer Candidate School to be commissioned as an Air Force officer and pilot. In addition to these achievements and ambitions, Sinead is actively involved in community service through volunteering at the local VA and with the Hudson Valley Honor Flight. Like Val, she is one of three girls and passionate about female leadership and mentorship. Read our blog post
for more about Sinead and the 2017 WAI conference experience.
The 2016 scholarship recipient is Army Captain Danielle (Jessica) Williams
, who will be using the $4,000 towards earning her private pilot’s license. Danielle went to Harvard University on a 4-year ROTC scholarship and was commissioned as an army engineer in 2008. After having served as a platoon leader for a combat engineer company while deployed to Iraq and as a human resource manager for the entire battalion, she now serves as Team Leader for a Special Operations Civil Affairs team based at Fort Bragg, NC that is assigned to maintaining strategic relationships with the Armed Forces of Philippines. In 2011, Danielle went skydiving for the first time and found a new passion for human flight. Four years and over 400 jumps later, she took her first flying lesson in an airplane in January 2015 and is now on her way to completing her private pilot’s license with the goal of becoming a commercial pilot. Read our blog post
about Danielle and the 2016 WAI Conference.
The 2015 scholarship recipient is Ashley Taylor (second from left) of McCall, Idaho, who is currently working for the U.S. Forest Service as a Smoke Jumper, an elite fire fighter. She will use the $2,000 funds to continue her flight lessons to become a pilot of the planes out of which she has been jumping. Read our blog post about Ashley and the 2015 WAI Conference.
In March 2014, Chelsea Ann Atwater, of Flagstaff, AZ was awarded the first LT Valerie Cappelaere Delaney Memorial Scholarship at the WAI Conference in Orlando, FL. Chelsea is a Grand Canyon river guide and used the $1,000 funds to get her helicopter pilot’s license to give tours of the canyon.