Scholarship Testimonials

Marchello D. Marche
2018 Recipient of Timothy Perseverance Scholarship

Andres Vergel
2017 GMAA-Batchelor Aviation Scholarship Recipient


“The Greater Miami Aviation Association (GMAA) has made a positive impact on my life. Their aviation scholarship allowed me to continue my education at Embry Riddle while maintaining a full time job. The GMAA always had special networking opportunities and the annual gala is something I will never forget. I remember meeting the CEO of FEDEX and dreaming of sharing the stage with him one day.

Thank you to the Board of the GMAA for their positive impact on young people, and for believing in me. I am forever grateful.

Semper Fidelis.

Tyler Norman
President and CEO, Aero Engine Solutions Inc.


It is indeed a pleasure to be granted an opportunity to write and extend a heartfelt thanks to the Board of Directors of the Greater Miami Aviation Association, for the assistance provided during my tertiary experience at Florida Memorial University as an Aviation Alumni.

Looking back at the time spent in Florida and the challenges faced in my quest to attain my Bachelors of Science Degree in Airway Science Management, I count my blessings to the Association for affording me the opportunity in planting the seed of opportunity with a scholarship that today I am eternally grateful.

Throughout my career within Aviation I’ve been afforded countless opportunities to represent my University and Country (Bahamas) at many International Aviation Training, Seminars, Workshops and Conferences. I was also blessed to be granted an opportunity to work with the governing body of Aviation, the International Civil Aviation Organization located in Montreal, Canada for nearly two years as a Technical Professional Officer within the United Nations Agency.

If it was not for the opportunity given by the Association I would not be in this field that as provided me with specialized expertise within Safety Management Systems, Human Factors, Aviation Audit, Policy, Aircraft Accident Investigation and State Safety Programme. The foundation attained at Florida Memorial University within the Aviation program opened doors for countless additional scholarships from the Government of South Korea and Singapore, training at various Aviation Organizations and Universities such as Federal Aviation Administration, George Washington University, University of Southern California, lATA, National Transportation Safety Board and ICAO.

Presently in my career within the Bahamas Civil Aviation I an tasked with the responsibility of Technical Safety locally and international, with additional responsibilities for the Bahamas State Safety Program, Aircraft Accident Investigations Go-Team Logistics, Aviation Policy, Safety Management Systems and Human Factors. I’ve also been designated as the Procurement Officer for a fifty million dollar project with the Inter-American Development Bank for Air Transport Reform within the Bahamas in conjunction with the Bahamas Government.

Once again I simply hope that the association will still provide the opportunity to assist perspective students within the field and seek to be a continuing supporter of the Aviation Programme at Florida Memorial University. Thanks for your continued assistance.

Juliea R. Brathwaite-Rolle


It is with great pleasure I write this letter of appreciation to GMAA for being a pillar in the aviation community of South Florida. Although you are located in South Florida and assist the aviation community of Florida your reach is worldwide.

Personally I have been the recipient of the GMAA Scholarship on three different occasions. Twice as a single parent of two young men, one of whom is also a fellow aviator and supporter of the field in South Florida. I am also pleased to let you know that we were the first and perhaps the only mother/son team to receive the GMAA Scholarship together.

As I have continued to strive to better myself and assist in this field we all love, GMAA was gracious enough to award another scholar to me three years ago toward a doctorial degree which I will be completing in the very near Mure. This award was granted while going to college with the younger son. I am so privileged being able to further my education with two sons and the GMAA has certainly been a big part of it.
It has also been a privilege to instruct at Florida Memorial University my Alma Mater under the leadership of Capt. A.J. Tolbert, Ph.D. Although a recent relocation from South Florida to Virginia, I continue to work in the aviation industry; first position here as a flight instructor at a local flight school at Leesburg Airport.

Yesterday I received an official offer from Lockheed Martin in Ashburn, VA for the position of Flight Service Specialist 1, serving the air traffic control community for Dulles and the area around Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia (The DMV).

Born the fourteenth child of fourteen children to Bahamian parents I could only dream of such an endeavor, yet here I am living the dream. If anyone can be encouraged by this I am truly happy. Greater Miami Aviation Association are my heroes, and many others who needed help and have received with gratitude. To those who are able to support the organization in its quest to assist Florida’s aviation community, please know the funds go a very long way and many of us would not be where we are without the support of GMAA.

Thank you GMAA once again

Ethel A. Symonette-Johnson


I am writing this letter to inform you of my recent achievement, thanks to the 2014 GMAA type-rating scholarship. On April 13, 2015, I commenced the training course and on June 6, 2015, I successfully completed my Airbus A320 checkride. Additionally, the scholarship award afforded me with the wonderful opportunity to complete the Entry Level Training (ELT) Jet Familiarization and Multi-Crew Coordination courses. Undoubtedly, the GMAA type-rating scholarship award has been a tremendous blessing to me and I wanted to express my heartfelt appreciation and to say “thank you.”

My journey to become a well-trained and highly skilled pilot has not been easy; I have encountered and endured many hardships and obstacles. I have been homeless, without a car, and sometimes even without food to eat. Even so, I can positively attest that I have not allowed such circumstances to deter nor stop me, but rather, I have used these difficulties to propel me forward and to find the inner-strength to tackle each obstacle. Through it all, GMAA has been there for me and has provided me with much needed assistance each time I have been ready to take the next step in my aviation career. In 2005, I received my first GMAA scholarship for the Multi-commercial add-on certification; in 2012, the Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII) and Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI) certifications; and most recently (in 2014), the Airbus A320 type-rating scholarship. Words simply cannot express my gratitude to the GMAA Board of Directors for believing in me enough to award me with multiple scholarships.

As I continue this journey as a professional pilot, I promise to exude the confidence GMAA has instilled within me. I have even attached my résumé as a testament of the many accomplishments I have achieved largely due to GMAA’s commitment to aviation excellence. Please receive my abundant thanks!


Lossie J. Williams III


I am happy to report, that I have completed my first semester in Embry-Riddle with a GPA 4.0. I am currently a member of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s S.P.A.C.E. Club, SIAM (Math) Club and ERPL (Rocket Propulsion) Club. I have just been elected President of the S.P.A.C.E Club, the official spokesperson for the SIAM Club and Leader of the Magnetic Field Design Team of the ERPL (Rocket Propulsion) Club. I have also been nominated as “Embry-Riddle 2014 Researcher of the Year”; for my research Projects: Weather Balloon and Eco-Dolphins GPS & Sonar Navigation Communication System. As well as being nominated for the Embry-Riddle 2014 Math Award”. I have attached an email from Dr. Liu Associate Professor in Mathematics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with my nomination. I have completed about a third of my flight requirements for the CFI Certificate during the Christmas holidays. Since everyone goes home for the holidays the university gives big discounts in flight time, approximate 50%. This was the first time I had not spent the Christmas holiday with my family; but as my parents always say” nothing worth having comes easy.”

I am leading Embry-Riddle student support of the Shiloh Launch Center development in Volusia County through the S.P.A.C.E. Club. I have been the Embry student spokesperson in FAA meeting held February 11, 2014 and in the Mark Bernier Radio Forum held in March 25, 2014 with the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce. It is my contention that this project will bring much needed professional Aerospace jobs to the state of Florida.

I am very proud to say that I am spearheading a volunteer collaboration initiative between Embry-Riddle S.P.A.C.E.- Math Clubs and Flager County Public Schools. I collaborate with Jose Nunez, Flagler County Public Schools STEM Director to promote high school students interest and participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. As I reiterate to Mr. Nunez countless times, all I am doing is paying back GMAA’s generosity by following their example; ‘helping develop the next generation of Aerospace Leaders.’

Well let me not take any more of your time, I realize that you are all very busy persons. But I did want you all to know that everything I have accomplished has been thanks to your great generosity. Thank you for investing and believing in me.

Francisco F. Pastrana