Scholarships fuel Jamaica native’s success at Embry-Riddle

Soheih Gooden is a senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Growing up on the island of Jamaica, Soleih Gooden would always go along on rides to the local airport, whether she was traveling or not. “I loved the environment,” said Gooden, who is now a senior in Aviation Business Administration at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s David B. O’Maley College of Business.

Although she was captivated by aviation and travel, she never imagined she would end up studying abroad.

“It’s quite funny whenever reality hits, because I never thought I would be here,” she said from Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus. “Growing up, the plan was always to attend college locally because I knew I would never be able to afford to study overseas.”

The reality of studying at Embry-Riddle has come about for Gooden because of hard work and focus — she has been on the Dean’s List or the Honor Roll since May 2019 — along with financial assistance from the O’Maley Family Endowment, the Alpha Eagle Aviation and Science Foundation Fund, The Ronald Weaver Endowed Scholarship and the Women of Excellence Scholarship.

Outstanding Student Service Award

This fall, 40 students in the David B. O’Maley College of Business have been awarded scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year. These awards go a long way toward cultivating the future leadership pipeline to satisfy industry needs, according to Dean Shanan Gibson.

“The aviation, aerospace and space industries require top-notch talent in order to remain competitive,” said Gibson. “While every student’s story is different, scholarships help ensure that the most deserving students have a chance to learn, graduate and begin adding value to the industry while also giving back to society. Scholarships show students that this world believes in them and instill a greater sense of belonging, and motivation, to become the next generation of leaders for the business of flight.”

When Gooden is not at work on her studies, she is working 18 hours a week at the College of Business and Embry-Riddle’s financial aid office, or demonstrating her leadership in the community, for which she was awarded the Outstanding Student Service Award in May.

“There is so much more to our community here at Embry-Riddle than just academics,” she said. “Whenever I am in the College of Business, whether on or off the clock, I try my best to go above and beyond to serve those around me.”

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