Past Scholarship Recipients
2003 – Michael Scott
Mike received a scholarship in 2003. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2008 with a degree in Political Science and was selected for Navy pilot training. Mike finished Navy flight training in jets and winged as a Naval Aviator in October 2010. He completed a three-year sea tour flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet with the VFA-105 Gunslingers out of NAS Oceana, VA. While assigned to the Gunslingers, he deployed on the USS Harry S Truman to the Middle East and flew combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Mike finished his last tour in the Navy during the summer of 2019 as the Strike Operations Officer for Carrier Air Wing 7, departing from deployment in the Middle East aboard the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN. During his 11 years in the Navy he flew all variants of the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet, as well as the E/A-18 Growler. Mike transitioned to the Air National Guard as a Major and became fully qualified to fly F-15C Eagles as a pilot in the 122nd Fighter Squadron “Bayou Militia” in New Orleans, LA, where he currently lives. In addition to flying in the Guard, Mike is now flying cargo for FedEx Express as a First Officer on the Boeing 757 based out of Memphis, TN. In addition to flying for work, Mike enjoys flying warbirds like the T-6 Texan / SNJ. In 2017, he raced the T-6 at the Reno Air Races and was selected as the T-6 Stock Class Rookie of the Year.
2003 – Richard Valenta
After earning his Private Pilot Certificate in 2003, Richard attended Purdue University, graduating in 2009 with a degree in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering. He was commissioned into the US Navy, went to flight school in Corpus Christi, Texas and earned his wings in March of 2012. Richard then attended FA-18 replacement pilot training in San Diego, CA and graduated from there in April of 2014. He graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River in 2018, and served for two years an F-35 Test pilot. He is currently assigned to NAS Lemoore, CA as a fleet F-35C pilot. In addition to flying Lightnings, Richard achieved his airline transport pilot certificate and continues to fly general aviation in his spare time.
2003 – Sarah Lemmer
Sarah graduated Summa Cum Laude from San Jose University’s College of Engineering with a degree in Aviation, Flight Operations and a minor in Business in 2006. After working at NASA Ames Research Center and three general aviation airports in the San Fransisco Bay area, she was hired by Mesa Airlines. She flew as a First Officer on the Dash 8 out of Denver, CO. After she was furloughed, Sarah was awarded an Active Duty Pilot slot with the United States Air Force, through their Officer Training School program where she was a distinguished graduate. She completed military undergraduate pilot training with the highest academic honors in her class and was assigned to fly the RC-135 Rivet Joint out of Offutt AFB, NE. She has since deployed to the Middle East and to Europe. More recently, Sarah earned her Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Oklahoma as well as her civilian Airline Transport Pilot rating, while 8 months pregnant.
2004 – Michael Hames
Michael Hames graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2008 with a degree in Aviation Management with Flight. Michael currently works in the Airport Operations at General Mitchell International Airport,while maintaining his commercial, multi-engine and other flight ratings.
2004 – Brittany Albers
Brittany Albers graduated with an accounting degree from Judson University. Although Brittany did not pursue an aviation career, she continues to fly as a private pilot, sharing her love of flight with her husband and three children. The kids love flying in their grandfather’s Luscombe and perhaps there’s a third generation of pilots in the making!
2005 – Ryan Wright
Ryan Wright graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2009 with a B.S. Aeronautical Studies. He served his country for nearly six years in the US Marine Corps where he flew the T-34C Turbo Mentor and T-45C Goshawk. Ryan additionally held Secondary Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) / Collateral Billet / Aircraft Maintenance Officer for UH-1Y and AH-1W Helicopters. In 2015 he completed his Master’s Degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide / Master of Aeronautical Science (MAS) specializing in Aviation/Airport Management. Ryan is a Certified Flight Instructor/Gold Seal and ATP with type ratings for the A320 and Saab 340. and currently flies for Silver Airways LLC out of Tampa, Florida where he lives with wife Danielle, and two loving dogs Sunshine & Shadow. Ryan plans to fly for Delta, Southwest or United Airlines.
2005 – Kevin Carney
Kevin Carney graduated from Bridgewater State College in Aviation Science in 2008. He currently works as a crew scheduler at American Eagles Airlines and is currently involved in the process to update those functions to comply with the FAR 117 changes.
2006 – Courtney Vidt
Courtney “Voodoo” Vidt received a scholarship in 2006. She graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 2011, where she followed in Leroy’s footsteps and was a Soaring Instructor Pilot for the Academy’s glider program. Courtney attended Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Vance AFB, in Oklahoma and received her Pilot Wings in February 2013. She was selected to become a First Assignment Instructor Pilot (FAIP) in the T-1A Jayhawk, instructing students who will go on and fly airlift and tanker aircraft. Courtney then went on to fly C-17s at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, upgrading to Instructor Pilot and Airdrop Aircraft Commander. She graduated the USAF Weapons School in 2020 and recently pinned on Major.Courtney is currently the Director of Wing Training for the 62d Airlift Wing, and is a member of the C-17 West Coast Demo Team.
2007 Julie Falsken
Julie (Falsken) Ratcliffe graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with undergraduate degrees in Aviation Business and Aeronautics and a Master’s degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. She went on to work for Boeing for a number of years in Flight Test Operations. As Julie married a fellow ERAU grad and now USAF pilot, she has had to step away from the aviation industry for the time being and is currently working in cyber intelligence, but she hopes to get back in the sky for fun real soon! Julie and her husband have one daughter who has already developed a love for airplanes!
2008 Brittany Smith
Brittany (Smith) Wakeman graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2012 with a B.S. in Aeronautical Science. She has worked for various airlines in operations and customer service. Brittany married a fellow ERAU grad who is an Air Traffic Controller. The two have welcomed a son into their family and have continued to share their love and passion for airplanes with him.
2009 – Joshua Mech
Josh graduated Southern Illinois University with a degree in Aviation Flight and Aviation Management in 2012. While at SIU Josh worked as a CFI while completing his degree. After leaving college Josh started his career flying for SeaPort Airlines; flying both the Pilatus PC-12/45 and Cessna Caravan. He has since flown for ExpressJet and Compass Airlines on Embraer regional jets. Today, Josh is a first officer on the Boeing 757 and 767 with Delta Air Lines. He and his wife Tori were married in October of 2020 and enjoy living in the northwest suburbs of Atlanta with their dog Comet.
2010 – Michael Hull
Michael is a 2010 graduate of Hilton Head Christian Academy High School in Hilton Head, SC. He started flying gliders at the age of 14 and obtained his private pilot certificate at Superior Flight School in Kennesaw, GA. Michael graduated from Middle Georgia State University with a business degree in Aviation Management. At Middle Georgia, he obtained his FAA ratings through Certificated Flight Instructor, and also worked as a Flight Instructor for the school. In 2014 Michael was selected to fly C-17’s in the Air Force Reserves for the 317th Airlift Squadron in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended Pilot Training in Columbus, MS where he had the opportunity to fly the T-6A Texan and T-1A Jayhawk. In 2019, Michael became a Delta Air Lines pilot. Michael has flown the Boeing 717 for Delta and will soon train to fly the Boeing 757/767. Michael resides in Mount Pleasant, SC with his wife Becca, baby son Myles, and Golden Retriever named Sailor. He continues to serve as an actively flying C-17 Aircraft Commander for the Charleston Reserves when not flying for Delta!
2011 – Vishra Patel
Vishra Patel earned her private pilot license at the age of 17. During her undergraduate, Vishra earned dual bachelor’s of science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Prescott in Aviation Business Administration and Global Business with a minor in Economics. Her studies with ERAU included international study in Paris and Singapore. She earned her Master’s in Cybersecurity Engineering from ERAU Daytona Beach. Vishra Patel is currently working for United Airlines as an Infrastructure cybersecurity Architect for the last three years.
2012 – Rick Ramunno
Rick Ramunno graduated from Metropolitan State University in Denver in 2016 with a BS in Aviation & Aerospace Management; with certifications in Airport Management and Airport Security. While in high school, he earned his PPL with an emphasis on mountain flying thanks to the LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation. Ramunno still has a love for flying and keeps up on his license and education. His career path has led him to his current position as campus minister for all Denver-area universities through the Denver Church of Christ. He someday hopes to combine his passion for Christ and his passion for aviation, but for now, his focus is finishing up the master’s program at the Rocky Mountain School of Theology, while continuing his career in ministry and discipleship. He recently purchased a townhome in Lakewood, Colorado, and along with renting out a few of those rooms, he also helps college students in his ministry find and secure affordable housing in the Denver area. Ramunno spends his free time hunting, fishing, skiing, and anything else outdoors!
2013 – Nathan Sanders
Nathan completed his Private Pilot License on August 27th, LeRoy’s birthday. Nathan graduated from USAFA in the Class of 2019. He is currently an Acquisitions Officer in the Electronic Warfare and Avionics Division at Robins AFB, Georgia.
2014 – Jose Rocha
Jose completed his Private Pilot License in April 2015, attended the USAFA Prep School and graduated the United States Air Force Academy in the Class of 2020.
2015 – Brody Wilson
Brody attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale on a full ride academic scholarship, and graduated Magna cum Laude with degrees in Aviation Flight & Aviation Management. He competed in NIFA each semester that he was a student. In 2018 he won the Region VIII Power-Off Landing Competition, and placed second in the National Navigation Competition. Brody completed three internships with United Airlines in Airport Operations, Global Operations Strategy, and Flight Operations. After graduation he began flying aerial photography missions in the Cessna 206 for Meisinger Aviation. He has since upgraded to their King Air 200 fleet and serves as their Assistant Safety Officer. While not flying himself, Brody loves to travel the world. He plans to travel to 25 countries before he turns 25; he only has 7 more countries to go. Brody has a conditional job offer with Republic Airways as an Embraer 170/175 First Officer. He hopes to fly for them soon, and one day make it back to United Airlines to work alongside his father.
2016 – Ty’Niyah Harris
Niyah passed her Private Pilot check ride in February and graduates high school this spring! She continues to be very active in multiple aviation organizations and plans to attend college this coming fall. Stay tuned for more updates and be sure to read her blog on Facebook!
2017 – Layton Howerton
Layton passed his private pilot checkride in August 2017 and received his drone pilot certification in December 2017. He is currently attending Iowa State University and is studying Aerospace Engineering. During the Spring 2019 Semester, Layton worked as an intern with the Rotorcraft Aeromechanics Branch at NASA Ames Research Center. He began a Civil Servant Pathway Program at NASA Glenn Research Center during the Summer of 2019. Layton has completed four internships with NASA Glenn Research Center since beginning his Pathway Program. He will graduate from Iowa State in May 2022.
2018 – London Holmes
London completed her private pilot license June 2nd! Since receiving the LeRoy Homer scholarship London attended the after school Aeronautical Science Pathway program at the Museum of Flight where she earned an additional 6 credits toward high school and 60 college credits in aviation. She attended the USAFA Summer Seminar program and participated in the Alaska Airlines annual Aviation Day Event. London completed a summer internship program with Boeing working in their P-8 Airframe Structures department. She is grateful for the doors this foundation is opening for her and excited to be in the LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation family which continues to offer guidance, support, and lots of encouragement. London Holmes will be finishing up her time at the United States Air Force Academy Prep school and will be appointed into the class 2025 at USAFA.
2018 – Angelo Cervantes
Angelo passed his private pilot checkride in August 2018 and began studies at Arizona State University last fall. Angelo is interested in completing his glider and instrument ratings and would like to fly tow plane for his local sailplane base where his flying adventures began.
2019 – Karsten Brown
Karsten Brown is a 2019 graduate of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He presently attends the United States Air Force Academy majoring in Aeronautical Engineering. His goal is to become an Air Force Fighter Pilot and fly either the F-15 or the F-22. Karsten completed his private pilot certification prior to admission to USAFA and is a member of the class of 2023. At the Air Force Academy, he is a member of the United States Air Force Parachute Team(Wings of Blue), the Cadet Aeronautical Council, and the Way of Life Committee. Karsten is heavily involved in community outreach and enjoys mentoring youth and participating in aviation outreach programs in his new hometown of Atlanta, GA. Karsten also loves GA flying and currently has over 100+ flight hours.
2019 – Grace Rames
Grace Rames is a 2020 Graduate of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School in Glyndon, MN. She received the Wright Brothers Award in Civil Air Patrol, is a member of National Honor Society and a Minnesota State Speech finalist. She represented her school at the American Legion Auxiliary Minnesota Girls State. Last summer she had the privilege of attending the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, FL and the North Dakota International Aerospace Camp at University of North Dakota. She volunteers at the Fargo Air Museum and is honored to be a LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation Flight Training recipient. Grace completed her private pilot certification last fall and will attend the University of North Dakota as a member of the class of 2024.
2020 – Megan Schleifer
Megan Schleifer is a 2020 graduate of Brick Township High School in Brick, New Jersey. Megan has aspired to be a pilot since a very early age. She completed her Private Pilot certification in August of 2020 and is now working towards her instrument rating at Auburn University. She has become active in organizations at her school such as the Auburn 99’s and Women in Aviation. Megan’s goal is to become a Certified Flight Instructor and then eventually an airline pilot.
2020 – Andrew Fox
Andrew Fox is a 2020 graduate of Saint Joseph Academy in Saint Augustine, Florida. Andrew is the epitome of high school students who pack as much as possible into their four high school years. He participated in Lacrosse, Sailing, Cross-Country and Track and Field while also becoming a certified scuba diver and volunteer coaching for the local flag-football league. Besides all these sports, Andrew spent time giving back to his church and to his community. He participated in community projects feeding the homeless as well as traveled overseas for mission work. Andrew completed his Private Pilot certificate and attends the University of North Florida with a major in computer science. His goals include serving his country in the Air Force then flying for the airlines.
2021 – Caitlyn Brough
Caitlyn is a high school junior from Columbus, Ohio. She currently attends Olentangy High School. Caitlyn is an active member of Service Club (community outreach and volunteering), her high school cheer team, Civil Air Patrol, Women in Aviation, and the Ninety-Nines. She credits these activities and her parents for shaping her into the young woman she is today. Caitlyn has had a passion for aviation since a very early age; her parents have been her most significant supporters and motivators throughout her aviation journey. One day she hopes to be an inspiration to little girls interested in aviation. Caitlyn’s goals include attending the Air Force Academy and becoming an aviator in the Air Force.
2021 – Shafer Kam
Shafer Kam is a high school Senior at Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii. Shafer has always been interested in aviation and recalls spending countless weekends watching planes take off and land at Honolulu International Airport. Several years ago, he was introduced to the Civil Air Patrol, Maryknoll Cadet Squadron, which launched his dream of becoming a pilot and is now the cadet commander for his squadron. In addition to his love of flying, Shafer is a member of his high school’s sailing and outrigger canoe paddling teams. Shafer is looking forward to using his private pilot certificate to support the aviation community in Hawaii and inspire youth to a career in aviation. His goal is to become a commercial pilot and fly for a major airline.