AMC SAT Competition Winners

FedEx Purple Runway Scholar: Tea Galon-Walraven

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“FedEx gave me a great opportunity through a scholarship,” says Tea Galon-Walraven, a 2023 Aviation Maintenance Science alumna. “I was stoked that I was able to stay at Embry-Riddle thanks to them.” Growing up in a single-parent home, she was grateful to minimize her student debt.

Now an aviation technician at United Airlines, she knows how to build both engines and relationships. As the president of the student chapter of the Society for Aerospace Technicians, she helped other AMS students connect with potential employers.

Galon-Walraven headshot

“I knew from an early age what I wanted to do, but I saw other students who didn’t have a plan or switched majors and went into greater debt,” she says. “I arranged facility tours so students could have a clearer sense of available careers – from space to commercial to cargo to business to manufacturing.”

She met FedEx representatives at a scholarship luncheon in 2018 and went on to visit FedEx Ground in Indiana a few years later. In March 2023, she was at FedEx practicing for an international competition with her all-female tech team, Smoking Rivets. Both teams competed at the MRO Americas Aerospace Maintenance Competition in Atlanta in April, and the all-woman team won first place in the Education Category. They also took home the Dream Team award.

From Galon-Walraven’s perspective, FedEx invested not just in her future but in the professionalism of her field. “There is a technician shortage, so students can go to some A&P school for faster, cheaper certification. A four-year degree from Embry-Riddle offers a broader, deeper experience.”