September 21, 2021 – Scottsdale, AZ
Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. (“TB2″) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving the history of aviation in Scottsdale, Arizona, honoring all military veterans, supporting Dogs4Vets, a service organization dedicated to enabling disabled veterans to live a more productive life through the use of services animals, and creating unique educational opportunities for Arizona students studying all aspects of aviation. TB2 announced it has awarded an Aviation Scholarship to Kathryn Pena, a Pima Community College (“PCC”) student who is currently pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in Aircraft Powerplant Mechanics.
Before enrolling in the PCC aviation program, Ms. Pena received her paramedic and EMT certifications from PCC. Although being a paramedic was her dream job, she decided to make a professional career change in order to spend more time with her family. She always had a passion for aviation as her grandfather retired from the U.S. Air Force as an aviation technician. Ms. Pena has already earned a Certificate for Aircraft General Mechanics, a Certificate for Aircraft Airframe Mechanics, and an Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Technology. Once she completes her Aircraft Powerplant Mechanics degree, her career goal is to be an aviation mechanic or aircraft structures technician.
Brey Mitchell, Avionics Instructor, PCC, commented, “There are people we come across in life that exude motivation and determination in everything they do. Kathryn is one of those people. From the moment she started this program, the tremendous tenacity for learning was apparent. Earning her place here while starting a business and taking care of her family was no walk in the park and we applaud her effort and dedication. I can speak for everyone here at the Aviation Technology Center when I say there is no doubt that she deserved this scholarship. I am eager to see how she applies her hard work in her future endeavors to be the best aviation technician she can be.”
Steve Ziomek, Chairman and President of TB2, said, “Kathryn exemplifies the type of individual worthy of receiving a TB2 scholarship. Not only has she successfully pursued two aviation certifications with a 3.77 GPA, but as a first responder she has developed the critical thinking necessary to succeed in any environment.”
Rudy R. Miller, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Scholarship Committee, stated, “When I interviewed Kathryn, I immediately had a strong connection with her background, as I too had served as a first responder–fireman and trained by the U.S. Army as a medic. Kathryn also shared with me that she obtained her pilot’s license at age 22. I admire her accomplishments to date, her devotion to duty, family, and service to her community. I welcome Kathryn as a deserving member of TB2 Aviation Scholarship awardees!”
About Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc.
Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2014 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. During World War II, an airfield named Thunderbird Field II was built for the sole purpose of training U.S. Army Air Corps pilots in 1942. Thunderbird Field II graduated over 5,500 men and women pilots of who many saw military action in Europe and the Pacific. The field and school were deactivated on October 16, 1944, sold to Arizona State Teachers College (ASU), then to the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and finally to the City of Scottsdale in 1966 and is now known as Scottsdale Airport (KSDL).
The 2021 Aviation Scholarship Program provides scholarships to veteran and non-veteran Arizona resident students who meet specific criteria and are attending Arizona State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Cochise College, or Pima Community College. TB2 has a permanent memorial at the entrance of the Scottsdale Airport, honoring the service men and women of the nation’s five armed services: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force, as well as POW-MIAs. For more information, please visit www.tbird2.org.