Travis Balthazor

Dec 20, 2012   //   by admin   //   Scholarship Recipients  //  No Comments

Favorite aviation memory: Flying home after receiving my Certified Flight Instructor certificate. It was a great feeling of accomplishment!

“Being a young kid living on a farm, looking up at the planes in the sky always peaked my interest. When we were visiting family in the city everybody would want to go to the park or bowling but I wanted to go to the airport to watch the planes.”

Travis Balthazor’s passion will soon turn into a career. The 23-year-old senior from Palco, Kan., is majoring in professional pilot and minoring in aviation safety at Kansas State University Salina.

“I’m fortunate that one of the top aviation schools in the country was so close to home. I really do love it here. The instructors all know you by name and you can really tell they want to further you in your career to become a pilot.”

But going after his dream hasn’t been easy.

“I work hard for my grades and I’m proud of them but working three jobs to help fund this dream does directly affect my grades as it takes up a lot of my time and deters my focus from school. The Burton Scholarship will definitely give me the opportunity to focus a little more on my classes.”

Travis is a resident assistant in K-State Salina’s residence halls, a waiter at Red Lobster, and a certified flight instructor for the university’s aviation program. He’s also involved in Women in Aviation and Alpha Eta Rho, an aviation fraternity.

In addition to all of that, he found time to travel to Washington, D.C. to donate healthy stem cells to a complete stranger, a 39-year-old woman with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“I was able to do normal activities within hours but was highly anemic, which is normal. Running and physical activities took about three days and I was back to flying in one week.”

Travis is hoping his love of flying is contagious but he’s not sure what he wants his career to be.

“I love instructing. Giving students the same opportunity that I got makes me very happy. But I really just want to be a pilot! Flying a plane is all I want to do. Where or for whom is something I still have to figure out.”

Leave a comment