By Bill Parry
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is partnering with Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in East Elmhurst on a new $1.3 million scholarship program, part of the agency’s continuing effort to provide opportunities for local communities to share in the economic benefits of LaGuardia Airport’s massive $8 billion reconstruction project.
The initiative will provide residents with the opportunity to compete for a tuition-free college education in the aviation field as well as the promise of a full-time position in Aviation Operations at the Port Authority airports upon graduation and help the Port Authority in filling critical managerial positions in the years ahead.
Six incoming freshman in the 2019-2020 academic year will qualify for full, four-year scholarships. In addition to qualifying for a position with the Port Authority upon graduation, scholarship recipients will be offered paid internships at the Port Authority airports during their summers of their enrollment at Vaughn.
“With ongoing redevelopment at LaGuardia, it is critical that the Port Authority continue to invest in talent from the surrounding communities to help them take part in the opportunities that the new LaGuardia Airport will present,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. “This program would not be possible without a strong, productive partnership between local elected officials and the Port Authority.”
To be eligible for a scholarship, students must live in Queens. Preference in the application process will be given to residents in East Elmhurst, Astoria, Corona and Willets Point.
Scholarship recipients would need to be enrolled in any four-year degree program at Vaughn and remain enrolled full-time at Vaughn College continuously, maintain a cumulative minimum grade point average of 3.0 and successfully complete Vaughn’s Career Development Seminar and participate in Vaughn’s Leadership Academy.
“We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to partner with the Port Authority on the redevelopment scholarship program,” Vaughn College President Sharon DeVivo said. “Our long-term relationship with the Port Authority and LaGuardia Airport, and our mission of providing a transformative education with a lifetime of opportunity for every student will continue to flourish while Queens residents share in the benefit of LaGuardia’s redevelopment.”
Additional eligibility criteria and scholarship applications will be published later this summer and be posted to the Vaughn College and Port Authority websites. Scholarship winners will be chosen by a joint Vaughn College and Port Authority panel.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr