The 2012 Neil Armstrong Scholarship winners

The Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund was first established in April 1995 through contributions from friends of Neil Armstrong, COPA members and the Canadian aviation community. Contributions are made to the COPA Flight Safety Foundation, Neil Armstrong Fund from which a charitable tax receipt can be issued.

The purpose of the fund is twofold - to honour one of Canada's foremost aviation members and to provide flight training to worthy young people who might not otherwise be able to pursue their love of flight and who exemplify the fine character, optimism and love of adventure which were epitomized by Neil J. Armstrong.

This year’s winners are:


Danielle Richard, 15, of Winnipeg, Manitoba

From an early age, Ms. Richard knew she wanted to fly. She pursued her passion through many venues including registering for aviation classes in high school. Many an hour was spent in the RedBird simulator with the permission of her Aviation class teacher Mr. Vodopivec.

A defining event for Ms. Richard was “COPA For Kids” hosted at Lyncrest airport; flying with COPA member Harry Wiebe in his Cessna 150 in the morning, and Jill Oaks in her Acro Sport II in the afternoon.  Ms. Richard recalls Jill telling another pilot over the radio that she can already see that Danielle will pursue flying.

Ms. Richard is an active volunteer which included helping at the registration desk for the Canadian Council of Aviation and Aerospace where she attended the Women in Aviation Seminar with a family friend. Her volunteer efforts extend to the Winnipeg Harvest and hopefully the Silverwing Youth Ambassador program at the Winnipeg James Armstrong International Airport when she is 16 years of age.

Ms. Richard is hoping to attend the flight management program at Confederation College or the Aviation Program at Seneca College. She is grateful to having met so many amazing aviation mentors and hopes for the opportunity to do the same in the future.

It is the COPA Neil Armstrong Scholarship Selection Committee’s pleasure to award Ms. Danielle Richard the ab-initio scholarship for 2012.



Marina Golinowski, 20, Timmins, Ontario

Ms. Golinowski is currently working on her Private Pilot License in the General Arts & Science Aviation Diploma program at Conestoga College and Waterloo Wellington Flight centre. Raised with strong familial values and amazing adventurous experiences from living up north, she intends on becoming a pilot and an asset to the aviation community.

Ms. Golinowski is still amazed how her classroom is four thousand feet above the ground. She sees her reputable personality, outstanding integrity and passion for aviation as key qualities necessary to becoming a competent pilot. Her passion for flying continues to grow each and every day.

Ms. Golinowski plans to continue on to a Commercial License, Multi IFR and ultimately a Float endorsement. She hopes to return home, flying up North as a Bush Pilot.

The Selection Committee awards this scholarship in support of Ms. Golinowski’s pursuit of flight training as a professional pilot.






Jeremy Sam, 15, Spruce Grove, Alberta

At the age of nine, Mr. Sam started his first ground school course, at the age of eleven he became a member of the Edmonton Flying Club and started working on his Private Pilot’s license. He has spoken at several aviation conferences around his city of Edmonton, Alberta.

Mr. Sam is an avid aviation reader and enjoys watching aircraft landing and taking off at his local international airport (CYEG). He currently has a part-time job at the Edmonton Flying Club and works about 5-6 hours on weekends. The money he earns is directed to his flight instruction.

Mr. Sam’s aspirations concerning aviation are to become a commercial airline pilot or a medevac/missionary pilot with a side focus on aviation mechanics.

The Selection Committee congratulates Mr. Sam on his winning application.