American Airlines Education Foundation Invests in Employees’ Children by Awarding More Than $800,000 in College Scholarships

The scholarships will benefit 300 students studying at 191 universities across five countries, 39 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C.

Francesca, Joseph and Nicholas pose with their mother Marcia Antonello, a PHL–based flight attendant.

The American Airlines Education Foundation yesterday awarded $801,000 in scholarships to 300 children of employees, an increase of 5 percent compared to 2016.

Each recipient will receive a $2,500 scholarship and 51 first generation college students will each receive an additional one-time award of $1,000. Scholarship recipients were honored at a reception at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

“The American Airlines scholarships have really helped to ease my burden of putting three children through college simultaneously,” said Marcia Antonello, a PHL–based flight attendant. “I am extremely proud of each of them and I know they are proud of each other.  One of the beauties of their unique relationship is that they really celebrate each other’s accomplishments. They are truly one another’s greatest champions and this ‘Antonello Trifecta’ will become another fond memory for us to share.”

“We are thrilled the foundation is in a position to support 300 students as they pursue their higher education goals,” said Ron DeFeo, president of the American Airlines Education Foundation Board and vice president – Global Communications for American. “This year’s scholarship recipients are an impressive group and include US Presidential Scholars, student athletes, licensed pilots and first generation college students. The award ceremony is one of the best nights of the year at American and it’s a joy to see the accomplishments and passions of these students and the pride of their parents as the students accept their awards.”

Three-time scholarship recipient Skylar Yoder, and her father Jason Yoder, an aviation maintenance technician based in Tech Ops–Tulsa.

The Education Foundation received more than 1,600 applications as a part of the competitive process.  Managed by third-party scholarship experts, scholarships are awarded based on financial need, academic achievement, extracurricular involvement and commitment to community service and volunteerism.

“As a three-time recipient of the American Airlines Education Foundation Scholarship Award, I am extremely grateful for the foundation’s continued generosity,” commented Skylar Yoder, daughter of Jason Yoder, an aviation maintenance technician based in Tech Ops–Tulsa.  “I will use the money from this scholarship to help pay for tuition during my upcoming junior year at Cornell University. Without this kind of support, it would be much more difficult for me, as a first generation college student, to accomplish my educational goals.”

American Airlines Education Foundation will continue to support educational initiatives by funding college scholarships for dependents of airline employees. High school seniors and college undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the scholarships and they can receive the award for up to four years.

For more information about the ways American Airlines is giving back to the community, please visit


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