Megan Laubhan, Wichita, Kansas
Field of Study: Aviation Maintenance Technology

The Hourglass Tool Scholarship Winner

Ever since I was a young child, I have been enamored with airplanes and the concept of flight. I started off wanting to become a pilot when I grew up, because I wanted to know the feeling of flight for myself. When I graduated from high school, I enrolled in college to actualize these dreams, but quickly learned that college was far more expensive than I imagined. I joined the US Air Force to help pay for the costs of college and chose an arbitrary job in aircraft maintenance, knowing absolutely nothing about the subject. But a job that I took as a means of financing my education very quickly turned into a passion for aircraft maintenance. I still achieved the feat of becoming a licensed pilot, but it still left me wanting to do more.

While the military provided a strong foundation in my skill area, I knew I needed that official “piece of paper” to continue turning wrenches in my civilian life. So, I enrolled at WSU Tech to finally earn my A&P certificate and further my love for maintaining aircraft. Becoming a licensed Airframe and Powerplant mechanic will allow me to get to know the airplanes I love so deeply on a much more intricate scale. The pride I take in accomplishing my work and successfully troubleshooting through problems is a feeling I have never known. Being able to work around the aircraft I have always admired as well as sincerely enjoy the work I do is all that I want out of life. After graduation, I intend to find work in the general aviation sector so that I can apply my passion and pride to my work and keep these aircraft flying.

Receiving a tool scholarship would help me in my career in ways I can’t even describe. When I started my first job in the US Air Force as an aircraft mechanic, I had never once turned a wrench. I did not grow up in a household that was well-steeped in maintenance or handiwork, so my decision to pursue a career in aircraft maintenance seemed to come out of left-field. But through the Air Force, I learned that it was something that I loved to do and something that came with a certain degree of naturality. After realizing this newfound passion through the military, I chose to change directions in my civilian life and enrolled in the Aviation Maintenance Technology Program at WSU Tech in Wichita, Kansas. Here, I would receive supplemental education and training that would prepare me for a career as an aircraft mechanic in the civilian world, as well as grant me the opportunity to earn my official certification. As I am nearing graduation and looking for my first job as a certified aircraft mechanic, I know that having my own tools is a necessity for any job I will find. As one could surmise, being fairly-new to the world of maintenance means that I lack my own tools that will ready me for my new career. Starting a toolbox “from scratch” is a very costly endeavor and one that I am trying to use my resources to assist with. In addition to being a full-time student, I am working two jobs to make ends meet, which unfortunately is not a rarity in the current economy in which we exist. But with the constraints my schedule imposes at the moment, I am limited in the jobs and hours I am able to work, which means that extra expenses, such as tools, have to find a place on the backburner. Being able to comfortably afford the tools I need would immensely help in getting my career started as soon as I can, and giving me the freedom and flexibility to accept work wherever my best fit is, and not worry about finding tools. This tool scholarship would be an immense blessing during a stressful time, and it would enable me to pursue my passion in my line of work sooner, rather than later.