SCAA announces 2024 scholarship recipients

July 10, 2024

South Carolina Aviation Association (SCAA) has awarded five scholarships to South Carolinians pursuing careers in the aviation industry.

LeeAnne Aganos, of Horry, a standout student at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, began the Aviation Maintenance Program in January 2024 and quickly impressed her peers and instructors with her hard work and determination. LeeAnne’s passion for aviation maintenance, inspired by her grandfather’s military stories and her own automotive mechanics experience, is evident in her performance. She was recently selected for the MRO Americas’ AMC competition due to her exceptional team skills and active participation in extracurricular activities. Despite personal challenges, LeeAnne remains dedicated to creating a better future for her family through her education and career in aviation maintenance.

Colin Crader, of Clemson, a dedicated student in the Aircraft Maintenance Technology program at Greenville Technical College, has achieved significant milestones. Since starting the program in Fall 2023, Crader has maintained perfect attendance and passed his general written exam. He has also been accepted into the PSA Airlines Maintenance Student Pathway Program and earned his ASE Refrigerant Recycling/Recapture certification. Crader plans to take his airframe exams in April 2025 and his powerplant exams in February 2026, aiming to start his own Aircraft on Ground business in the future.

John Gay, of Jasper, an exceptional student at Polaris Tech, has shown remarkable growth and passion in their Aerospace Program. Known for his enthusiasm and keen aptitude for both theoretical and practical aerospace concepts, John stands out among his peers. He plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, renowned for its prestigious aviation programs, where he will study aeronautical science to become a pilot. Beyond academics, John is recognized for his outstanding character, leadership skills and dedication to helping others, making him a deserving candidate for any aviation scholarship.

Karlie Hayes, of Pickens, a standout student in the Aeronautics – Professional Pilot degree program at Charleston Southern University, has demonstrated exceptional potential as a future commercial pilot and leader. One of only two professional pilot students in the prestigious Honors Program, Karlie excels despite a demanding course load and rigorous flight training. Known for her intellectual curiosity, preparation and performance both in the classroom and on the flight line, Karlie aims to become a cadet for Republic Airlines. Her long-term goal is to fly for a major airline like Southwest or Delta, eventually becoming an international wide-body captain.

Oswaldo Trejo, of Jasper, a valedictorian for the class of 2024 at Hardeeville Junior and Senior High School, will be the first in his family to attend college this fall. He plans to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering at the College of Charleston. Oswaldo stands out as one of the most dedicated and driven students, consistently demonstrating a high level of intelligence, curiosity and commitment to excellence. In addition to his outstanding academic performance, he possesses remarkable leadership skills and a genuine passion for aviation and technology. He actively engages in aerospace engineering, having attended the Jasper County Career and Advanced Technology Education Center as well as the Technical College of the Lowcountry. Oswaldo dreams of working for NASA or The Boeing Company and aims to become an aerospace engineering instructor.

SCAA’s scholarship program is open to South Carolina residents who attend, or will attend, an educational institution or flight school inside or outside the state. The application period for the next program cycle will open in Spring 2025.


About SCAA

SCAA actively promotes and encourages aviation and airport development to meet air transportation needs and assist the state in achieving economic development goals. Its membership is comprised of S.C. airports, aviation industry partners and aviators across the state. For more information, please visit