The Chris Bedzis Memorial – Rotor Transition Scholarship will be awarded to one person in the amount of $10,000. The intent of this scholarship is to assist in funding fixed wing flight training and expenses directly related to that training for the purpose of a United States Military Veteran or current Servicemember transitioning from a being a military trained helicopter pilot to a career as an airline pilot.
Chris Bedzis was a veteran Marine who dedicated his military life serving as a CH-53 pilot. In 2014, after 10 years in the Corps, Chris was hired by PSA airlines allowing him to fulfill his lifelong dream of flying for the airlines. During his first few years, he not only worked tirelessly as an airline pilot but also began to share his passion for aviation through recruiting.
Unfortunately, in 2016 his dream of a life in the cockpit came to an abrupt end after receiving a diagnosis of Stage 4 Synovial Sarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer. Given the advanced stage of the disease, he was given a prognosis of 12-24 months. Despite the grim outlook of the disease, Chris entered the battle of his life without fear and forged on.
During his multiple treatments and clinical trials, he continued to work with PSA in the development and implementation of the Rotary Transition Program, a program that allowed Chris to give back to the community that had given him so much. In his last two and a half years, Chris not only saw this program grow from inception to a successful asset of PSA but also had the honor of representing American Airlines in the 2019 fundraiser “Stand Up To Cancer”, an organization dedicated to finding a cure.
Chris is survived by his family: wife Stephanie and his 2 children, James (2 years old) and Charlotte (Charlie, 6 years old). Chris was one of the founders of the RTP movement and is a hero to those in RTAG. He helped well over 200 Veterans start new careers as airline pilots. This community owes so much to Chris and we want to show our appreciation to him and his family for the untold sacrifices they’ve made to help others.
Please submit applications during the appropriate application window on our scholarships page.