Fatima Abed wins the 2024 Dream of Flight Scholarship from MPI Jet with Compelling Essay

Salinas Valley resident Fatima Abed was recently awarded the 2024 Dream of Flight $1,000 Scholarship from MPI Jet on May 10, 2024, for her exceptional essay detailing her challenging journey to learn English and pursue higher education. Her inspiring story of determination and perseverance stood out among many applicants. (See attached essay submission.)

According to Fatima Abed, “This scholarship is helping me reach my aspirations of pursuing higher education, like a jet that’s taking me closer to my dreams. Thank you to MPI Jet for this incredible opportunity and support. Your team’s kindness will never be forgotten.” – Fatima Abed.

In 2007, Fatima’s family moved to New York from Iraq. Her father later took a job at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey and the family moved to Salinas in 2019. Fatima began working with the Boys and Girls Club in Salinas helping kids there, just as she had helped to raise her own siblings. After facing many challenges to learn English, she read comic books on the bus to school and back and had teachers who helped her overcome her language barrier.  Fatima's dedication paid off, allowing her to master English, communicate more easily with her peers, and gain confidence and strength as a student.  She achieved a 4.0 grade point average in high school and was placed in an AP (Advanced Placement) Language Course. She is now looking forward to attending UC Berkeley in the Fall with plans to major in Public Health.

About the 2024 Dream of Flight Scholarship

The 2024 Dream of Flight Scholarship was open to graduating seniors participating in the Seaside and Salinas chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County whose goals are to pursue a level of higher education, including trade school, culinary school, apprenticeship, college, and the military, not restrained to the $28 billion aviation industry.    This unique scholarship is in its second year. MPI Jet plans to fundraise for upcoming scholarships throughout the coming year and invites donations and contributions from other companies and local community members for their 2025 scholarship opportunity.

It is MPI Jet’s goal to ensure that every student has the opportunity to chase their dreams. From exposing students to affluent industry opportunities, occupations in STEM, and simply giving students the ability to explore their passions internally, the Dream of the Dream of Flight program aims to encourage and support the possibility of student’s achieving their dreams.

James (Jeb) Garamendi, President of MPI Jet, explains, “The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams. While dreams are not fragile, they sometimes require a little help. That’s why we created the Dream of Flight Scholarship, aiming to alleviate financial obstacles hindering education beyond high school. Our goal is to sustain and expand this scholarship in the future, empowering more dreams to take flight.”

Matt McIntyre, MPI Jet’s Director of Operations, embarked on his journey towards becoming a pilot in private aviation at the age of 13, when he won a flight with local aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker through his local 4-H club. Sean's remark that he couldn't make Matt sick during the flight sparked Matt's determination to pursue aviation. Inspired by his experience, Matt is driven to provide other students and young adults with the same opportunity to discover the enchantment of an industry they may have never considered exploring.

Matt urges others to “Always take every opportunity to do something new. Even if it takes you upside down or throws you for a loop. You never know if it will turn into a dream of flight.”

Ron Johnson, President/CEO of the Monterey Boys & Girls Clubs, explains, “We're excited to partner once more with MPI Jet and appreciate their continued support in helping our youth realize their dreams. We're thrilled to learn that Fatima Abed is an MPI Jet scholarship recipient. She has worked hard to build a pathway to her dream college. Her story is a testament to the bright futures our club members can achieve with dedication and opportunity.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs are historically known for helping disadvantaged students access higher education, an essential step in chasing a dream. The association of MPI Jet and the The Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County is a great partnership that will continue for years to come. MPI Jet also hopes to motivate other businesses to give students the opportunity to become exposed with the occupations their industry provides through similar partnerships.

About the MPI Jet Scholarships

The MPI Jet Scholarship was awarded to the well-deserving student on May 10th, 2024. The partnership between the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County and MPI Jet kicked off last year at the 2023 Dream of Flight Drawing Contest and Monterey Airport BBQ. The 2023 contest behind this event focused on Seaside Boys and Girls Club members from 5th – 9th grades, prompting them to draw what it looked like for their dreams to take flight. The contest winner’s artwork was then used as the face of MPI Jet’s marketing for an entire quarter, as a reminder to MPI Jet’s community of the importance of chasing their dreams and supporting others in doing the same. 

While this year’s scholarship was focused on the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of Monterey County, it has potential to expand to other schools within the Monterey County School District in 2025.

About MPI Jet

Launched in 2014, Monterey Pacific International Jet (MPI Jet) is a full-service, international private jet charter company based at the Monterey Jet Center at the Monterey Airport. With a deep commitment to excellence, MPI Jet delivers an unparalleled level of service, flexibility, and professionalism in private aircraft travel. MPI Jet is dedicated to flight safety with a perfect record using highly experienced pilots with thousands of flight hours. They provide a very comfortable alternative flying experience that bypasses crowded terminals and packed airplanes. The company also offers cost-effective opportunities for small groups through its “Empty Leg Flights” for up to 70% off the regular price. More information is available on www.mpijet.com.

About The Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County

Founded in 1968, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County (BGCMC) has played an integral role in the community for over 50 years. BGCMC operates Clubhouses in Seaside and Salinas, providing a haven for over 600 children and teens a day with programs that focus on Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, Good Character and Leadership. Club members are offered mentoring and guidance to maintain on-grade school progression, graduate from high school and prepare for college and careers. For more information, go to www. www.bgcmc.org/