SGTC aviation maintenance student wins Southwest Airlines Scholarship

Published 10:00 pm Monday, July 25, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) aviation maintenance technology’s Amy Pike Griffin of Oglethorpe was selected as the winner of the Southwest Airlines Maintenance Training Scholarship recently. She was honored at the 2016 Women in Aviation International scholarship reception at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. SGTC’s aviation maintenance instructor, Victoria Herron, accompanied Griffin to the awards ceremony.
The Southwest Airlines Training Scholarship presented to SGTC Griffin is valued at approximately $4,250. The scholarship recipient receives a roundtrip ticket on Southwest Airlines to Dallas, hotel accommodations, and provisions for meals and paid expenses to attend a two-week 737-700/800 Systems class.
The recipient also meets with tech operations leaders; tours the Dallas maintenance facility, headquarters, and NOC; shadows a supervisor in tech operations; and attends other fun Southwest Airlines events.
“This was a tremendous opportunity and I am honored to have been selected for this scholarship,” said Griffin. “I really enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with so many of the top women in aviation as well as hear from the top speakers in this profession.
Victoria Herron praised Griffin and also congratulated her on this honor.
“The opportunity is there for all students to apply for this and other scholarships,” explained Herron. “Amy applied and took advantage of this opportunity in an effort to better herself. We are all very excited for her and she did an awesome job of representing herself and South Georgia Technical College and the aviation maintenance department.”
Griffin is the daughter of Thomas and Lou Ann Pike of Oglethorpe and the wife of James Griffin. They have two children, Nathan and Madison.
When asked what led her to pursue an education and a career in the aviation maintenance industry, Amy Griffin explained that one of her earliest memories was going on a family vacation to Kentucky.
“My dad would always pull over in Atlanta and let me sit on his shoulders and watch the giant planes fly over my head. They were so low, I felt like I could almost touch them,” said Griffin. “To this day, I still get that same awestruck feeling when I see these giant planes.”
Griffin attended Georgia Southwestern State University while she was still in high school and began a degree in aerospace engineering.
“My education was paid for through my junior and senior years of high school through the dual enrollment program, which allowed me to obtain college credits and high school credits simultaneously.  But after I discovered that I would have to transfer to Georgia Tech to complete my degree, I chose to pursue a different path that would be more hands on and more affordable,” explained Griffin.
The young aviation maintenance technology student at SGTC h does plan to return some day to a four-year college or university, but her current goals are to obtain a Federal Aviation Administration issued airframe and power plant rating along with a certificate in avionics, structural metal, and unmanned aerial systems repair.
Griffin is scheduled to graduate from South Georgia Technical College in December of 2016, and hopes to secure a job with a well-established company.
“In five years, I hope to be pursuing a position as lead mechanic or a quality control position while becoming a well-established and respected woman in the aviation community. In 10 years, I hope to see myself working for a commercial airline company while continuing my education attending classes and lectures often.”
Currently Griffin is a student and has worked as an intern at R&D Aeronautical where the experience and work that she has been able to take part in has been invaluable and has really assisted her in understanding the industry that she is entering.
“I am very fortunate that up until this point, my education has been funded through financial aid from the state and assistance from my parents. I have a huge passion for learning and education and hope to continue my education even after graduation from South Georgia Tech. Attending the 737-700/800 systems class would further my education in information directed towards the type of aircraft I hope to someday work with,” said Griffin.
Griffin had to apply for the scholarship as well as submit three recommendations from her instructors. Charles Christmas, aviation maintenance technology instructor, taught her during the spring semester of 2015.
“As a student, Amy was extremely hardworking at her academics and demonstrated how well she could perform under pressure to meet the objectives and requirements needed throughout the semester,” said Christmas. “Amy stands out from her classmates through her precise note taking to her insightful questions. She is always on-target with her class work and the work she produces is always clear, concise, and achieves the objectives set forth by the curriculum.”
Christmas also commented on Griffin’s positive attitude.
“As an instructor, I really appreciated the positive attitude she brought to the classroom every day. She’s always willing to work hard and takes on pressure with a smile. She is continuously learning and developing to improve self and performance; and demonstrates careful stewardship of resources to maximize their worth and effectiveness.”
The 27th annual International Women in Aviation Conference that Griffin and Herron attended in Nashville is approved as training for FAA employees.