2023 Scholarship Winner – Aliyyah Adio

“A person never truly dies until their spirit is completely forgotten and the last person who they’ve touched has perished. So long as we continue to keep the spirit alive, it continues to serve the world.” – Jarard Paige, J. Elliot Marketing

Serving the World by Paying It Forward

In 2012, J. Elliot Marketing in partnership with Women in Aviation International (WAI) announced the $2,500 Christine Reed Memorial Flight Scholarship. Christine passed away before she was able to reach her dream of becoming a private pilot. So to keep her spirit alive, J. Elliot Marketing offers an annual scholarship to women ages 16-30 who have already soloed and are working towards their initial pilot certificate.

Meet Aliyyah Adio – 2023 Scholarship Recipient

In December 2022, our eleventh scholarship recipient was selected – Aliyyah Adio – a highly motivated young woman determined to learn as much as she can in aviation to reach her dream of being a professional pilot.

Currently a flight student at a Part 61 pilot training program in Fulton, GA and a university student Middle Georgia State University (Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science and Management), Aliyyah has also completed a Aviation Building Technology Program for The Zenith Company in Mexico, Missouri. She’s seen many sides of aviation, having also worked as an aircraft fueler agent, and she is eager to learn more. It’s in her blood…as her late father passed down his love of aviation over the years.

Take a moment to learn about Aliyyah’s unique path and her passion for becoming a well-rounded professional pilot, eventually hoping to use her talents and opportunities to pave the way for others.

Now that you’ve been awarded the Christine Reed Memorial Flight Scholarship, how might it help you to achieve your dreams?

The Christine Reed Memorial Scholarship will help reduce my financial burden and give me the time to focus on my flight test preparations. In addition, this scholarship will help me accomplish my current goal of obtaining my private pilot certificate, which will enable me to proceed to the next step and eventually become the professional pilot I’ve always dreamed of.

Your father had a profound impact on your love of aviation and ability to see the world. As a pilot, instructor at a flight school in Oakland (CA), and retired technician with United Airlines, it seems his zest for aviation was handed down to you. And as a female, you have not been daunted in continuing his legacy through your studies and interests. Tell us about how he mentored and supported your entry into aviation.  

When I expressed an interest in aviation as a career, my late father provided invaluable guidance and mentorship through his daily actions and example. His impact was felt both professionally and personally. When I first began my aviation journey, he was the one who encouraged me to take part in the Aircraft Building project which gave me more insight to other aspects of aviation. When I was looking to gain aviation experience, he suggested aircraft fueling, which I had never considered, given that it is a male-dominated field. As a female, he never saw my gender as a disadvantage, but rather as an advantage for more opportunities. Therefore, I worked as an aircraft fueler for Delta Global Service, a former subsidiary of Delta Airlines with aircraft experiences on Boeing, Embraer 175, Airbuses, MD-88/MD-90, and CRJ’s. 

My father provided financial support, mentored me throughout the process, and taught me a lot about aviation along the way. He has given me different perspectives on how to deal with life’s challenges through his wise words, which has comforted and encouraged me in a variety of ways. Even at times, I felt I wasn’t progressing in line with my instructor’s expectations, he would always give me great advice, tips on how to improve, and ways to turn my failures/obstacles into something positive. I remember he once told me, “Getting 100% isn’t a measure of your excellence, but staying focused, committed, and on course will make you successful.” 

He had an immeasurable amount of faith in my abilities. I could write a book about him and the impact he had on me and many other aviators around the world; the list is endless. He was my biggest hero and I am incredibly appreciative of the strong foundation he built for me. 

In both your scholarship essay and one of your recommendation letters, the aircraft assembly workshop you completed at the Zenith Aircraft Company was touted as providing you with a unique and well-rounded initial experience in the aviation field. How did this experience shape your fundamental aviation knowledge and elevate your interest? 

The aircraft assembly workshop primarily shaped my aviation knowledge specifically in aerodynamics and systems. I had the opportunity to learn more about the functions of the aircraft’s components and how each part is constructed and used in flight. My interest sparked even more after receiving a demo flight in one of the company’s aircraft. I always have an unexplainable sense of joy every time I take off into the skies. Eventually, I was able to apply the knowledge I gained from this experience into my flight training. It made it less difficult for me to comprehend the fundamentals of flight. I believe that by becoming more knowledgeable about airplane mechanics, it will make you a safer and better pilot. 

You’re currently a member of Women in Aviation International, Sisters of the Skies, and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals. How has your participation in these organizations assisted you along your pilot and professional career journeys? 

These organizations have created a pathway for underrepresented youths like me to pursue our aviation dreams. They are committed to promoting and advancing minorities in all aviation and aerospace careers by providing scholarships, mentoring, training, and youth-focused education programs to aspiring aviation professionals. Through these organizations, I’ve met many wonderful people with diverse professional backgrounds. It has aided me in many ways on my pilot and professional journey because their mentorship has simplified the process, allowing me to easily seek guidance and explore opportunities that will open doors for me. 


What has been the most thrilling (or confidence gaining) aspect of your flight training? 

The most thrilling and confidence gaining aspect of my flight training was when I completed my first solo and solo cross countries. I felt a sense of peace, victory, and happiness navigating on the controls by myself. Being able to share this milestone with my loved ones also made my happiest moments ever. Those accomplishments are significant to me because there was a point, I had lost all confidence in myself. One day, all areas of my piloting skills improved, and I completed my solo! With time, dedication, and perseverance, I eventually reached the end portion of my private pilot training which boosted my confidence on so many levels.

I hope that by sharing my experience, I can encourage readers who can relate to not be too hard on yourself, believe in your abilities, and refrain from comparing your journey to others. Safety is the number one priority when flying an aircraft. 

You also mentioned that giving back to your community through aviation and mentorship is a key driver in your long-term success. What are some of the ways you hope to give back in the future once you achieve your own dreams? 

My long-term goal is to serve as a mentor to the next generation of pilots, promote aviation as a career option, and give back through outreach and educational programs. Participating in outreach programs will allow me to share my love of flying. Additionally, it is an opportunity to raise awareness about the aviation industry and the numerous job opportunities it provides. According to the FAA, there is a current and projected shortage of pilots in the United States, making now an excellent time to inspire the next generation to consider careers in aviation. I also want to give back by providing financial aid to deserving young people. 

J. Elliot Marketing is proud to have Aliyyah as the 11th recipient of the Christine Reed Memorial Flight Scholarship. By helping others reach their dreams, J. Elliot Marketing keeps Christine’s spirit alive. Perhaps this minor step serves to inspire others to think of ways they can share their passions with the world and find ways to pay it forward.

This year’s scholarship award is made with a heavy heart in remembrance of Joan Reed – Christine’s mom – who passed away just prior to this year’s scholarship review period. It was pleasure partnering with Joan over the last ten years. She was always eager to read and review our finalists, and we always seemed to choose the same finalist as our awardee. Her humbleness, appreciation, and partnership will forever be missed.