Scholarship recipients Alec Feller, Brian Bustamante, and Alanna O’Connell. {Foxmar Studios}

By Jill Fox

For the third year in a row, CommutAir Cares is providing scholarships to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduates who have an interest in aviation.

After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre on February 14, 2018, one of the CommutAir Cares board members and long-time Coral Springs resident, Lisa Ferm, proposed the introduction of the scholarship program.

Ferm, who worked for many years at the Coral Springs Police Department, wanted to help the Parkland students so close to her former hometown.

CommutAir, a regional airline headquartered in North Olmsted, Ohio, operating as United Express, felt a scholarship tied to a career in aviation made the most sense. Applicants submitted short essays explaining their drive to pursue aviation as a profession.

Although the organization initially intended to offer one $5,000 scholarship this year, they couldn’t decide between three talented and deserving students.


This year’s recipients are Alec Feller, Brian Bustamante, and Alanna O’Connell,  who each received a scholarship for $2,500.

Feller will attend the University of Florida and study mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Bustamante will attend Broward College and major in aviation to become a commercial airline pilot. He will also be attending Flight Center US to obtain his private pilot’s license.

O’Connell will attend the University of Central Florida and major in aerospace engineering.

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Author Profile

Jill Fox
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked on the public relations side as well as the television side of marketing for NBC Universal. A true Floridian, Fox grew up in Ormond Beach and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Advertising from the University of Miami. During college, Fox enjoyed working at Walt Disney World. She loves living in Parkland with her husband, Brian and their two children, Madden, 10 and Randi, 7.