2023 Scholarship Award Winners

Jun 2023 | Credit Union News, Featured

Alaska Air Group Credit Union is proud to support hardworking scholars as they pursue their education and dreams through our scholarship program.

Thank you to all our 2023 applicants. There were many qualified candidates. This year, we received over 50 applications, making the selection process was difficult.

Applicants were rigorously reviewed by the Alaska Air Group Credit Union Scholarship Committee, and the following six students were selected for an AAGCU Scholarship Award.

Madison Hubbard
Camas, WA | Minnesota State University
Studying: Aviation

In high school, Madison was active with track and field, in which she has received many awards. She has also been awarded an Academic Achievement Award in chemistry, and the Pride Inside award three times, which is earned by being nominated by a teacher after they witness a student doing something helpful or encouraging around the school. Madison also participates in a school club called Camas Shelter Society, where they organize hygiene drives and collect items to donate to shelters in the community.

Madison’s goal is to become a Commercial Pilot. She is currently training for her private pilot license, flying 2-3 times a week and attending ground school twice a week.

Madison’s mother, Deja Hubbard, works at Alaska Airlines.

 “It is amazing to think that I will get paid to fly and be constantly surrounded by the sky. Although making money while doing something you love has got to be one of the best feelings, I have to admit I would do this job for no pay!

I recognize there is a pilot shortage, but also a disparity between men and women in the flightdeck. When I attended Girls in Aviation Day 2022, I listened to stories from a couple of female pilots and one of them broke my heart. She said during her interview she was told they were hesitant to hire her because she was a woman. This infuriated me and made me even more dedicated to becoming a pilot, breaking the stigmas around women in the flightdeck.”

Kaylee Rankin
Auburn, WA | Pierce College

Studying: Medical Field

Kaylee has had a personal passion for children who face cancer, after receiving her own diagnosis with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 12. This passion drove her to be active in the DECA program at her high school, where she organized a Chemo Bags of Hope drive to make children’s bags and donated them to Children’s hospitals throughout the PNW. In addition, Kaylee played varsity soccer and received three Student of the Month awards for her academic achievements. Outside of school, Kaylee was named the ambassador for the Friends for Life Guild, where she sold ornaments and votives to raise money for childhood cancer research. She was guest speaker at the Seattle Children’s Celebration fundraising gala, an event that raises money for Seattle Children’s cancer research. She also has been a buddy at TOPsoccer, an organization that provides kids with disabilities an opportunity to play soccer in a safe environment.

Kaylee’s mother, Kelly Rankin, works for Alaska Airlines.

 “After having cancer, I have a better understanding of how many kids have had to face cancer, which has made me want to be the voice and advocate for those who can’t, and spread awareness of this awful disease. My plan as I continue my education is to raise money for cancer research and hope to someday work in the medical field supporting oncology pediatric research. As we know, life is short and we have to live it to the fullest every day. Having had cancer has given me life experiences I will use as I continue on my journey.”

Catey Habberstad
Anchorage, AK | University of Alaska Anchorage
Studying: Business Administration, Real Estate & Property Management

Catey has been incredibly involved in her community. In high school, she served as the Commissioner of Community Relations in her school’s student government where she coordinated community service opportunities for her peers including events at their feeder elementary school, making Christmas Boxes for Operation Christmas Child, donating diapers for Newborns in Need, and serving at the FISH pantry for St. Mary’s Church. Catey also participated in sports, served as the editor for her school’s yearbook, and was a member of Quill and Scroll and National Honor Society. Outside of school, Catey organized the Chains of Caring fundraiser for the past few years, raising money for the Providence Children’s Hospital, has organized several Miracle Minute campaigns for Breast Cancer patients, and has been nominated for a Spirit of Youth Award in Anchorage for her community service work.

Catey’s father, Scott Habberstad, works at Alaska Airlines.

Catey has lived her life with cerebral palsy, causing her to have to be more aware of her body and health, and often work much harder than her peers.

“In everything that I do, I have always had to work hard. Having cerebral palsy just means I have to work ten times harder than my peers. This created grit in me, because I can’t just quit. Pushing ahead is my only option.

I will be attending the University of Alaska Anchorage next year to major in Business with a focus on Real Estate Development. One way I want to help others is to help them find a proper home, and my ultimate dream is to be able to build a tiny home community for people with disabilities who need support to live successfully and independently. To make that dream happen, I’m going to have to work really hard.”

Alliah Hubbard
Camas, WA | University of Washington
Studying: Environmental Engineering

Alliah’s passion for environmental sustainability was prevalent in her high school activities, where she served as President of the Green Team; the environmental/sustainability club. Through this club, she volunteered to plant trees, clear invasive species, and clean up the local environment. Alliah also served with the Camas Shelter Society where she helped supply local women’s shelters with essential supplies through drives and volunteer work. In addition, she was on her high school gymnastics team where she served as captain and earned a Team Leader award. Outside of school, Alliah works as a gymnastic coach, using her leadership skills to encourage young gymnasts.

Alliah’s mother, Deja Hubbard works at Alaska Airlines.

“I am a lover at heart and I am willing to give my whole heart to the people I hold dear. My plans for my future include going to college to get a job to help others. I want to major in environmental science so that I can help heal the Earth that I love so much and create a beautiful world for the people I love.”

Blake Klaich
Forest Grove, OR | Hillsboro Aero Academy
Studying: Professional Pilot Program

Blake completed high school in 2013, where he graduated with honors, achieved multiple awards for outstanding grades, served as Student Council President, and played basketball, volleyball, and ran cross country. Today, Blake is involved in his community where he volunteers to referee elementary basketball games, participates in community cleanup days, and has been a member of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). He is also CRP and AED certified and worked as an Emergency Trauma Technician.

Blake is pursuing his pilot license with the goal of flying for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

“I knew from my first day of training that I wanted to make my career with Alaska Airlines and within the first week also knew I wanted to become a pilot. I have loved planes and aviation ever since I was a little kid.

I truly believe that becoming a pilot is what I am meant to do. I believe that the knowledge and skills I have learned will serve me well and contribute to my success as a pilot. The importance of safety and attention to detail are ingrained in me and I excel and make sound decisions under pressure. I am a clear and effective communicator and I work well with others without compromising my values. I believe that I will be an excellent pilot for Horizon and Alaska Airlines for many years.”

Faith Williams
Oklahoma City, OK | Oral Roberts University
Studying: Elementary Education

Faith has been involved in her high school through sports, participating in cheer, volleyball, and golf. She has been given multiple awards as part of her participation in these sports.

In the community, Faith volunteers at a horse rescue providing riding lessons, caring for animals, and helping with summer camps. She is also involved with her church, serving as a student leader on the worship team, serving in the nursery, and volunteering with their fall festival and school supply donations.

Faith’s father, Tedd Williams, works for Alaska Airlines.

“I am pursuing a Bachelors Degree in elementary education with a focus in special education. I believe that children deserve teachers that care about them.

I want to be a teacher that demonstrates through my actions, what a good leader looks like. A good leader is someone who is patient, kind, understanding, slow to anger, a good problem solver, and some one who is willing to compromise and admit when they are wrong.”

Congratulations to this year’s winners. Scholarship applications for 2024 will open on January 1st, 2024. Visit Scholarships – Alaska Air Group Credit Union (aagcu.org) to learn more.

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