Embry-Riddle freshman Bella Memeo is a pilot, artist and Boeing Scholar. Embry-Riddle freshman Bella Memeo is a pilot, artist and Boeing Scholar.
Embry‑Riddle freshman Bella Memeo is a pilot, artist and Boeing Scholar (Photo: Embry‑Riddle / Connor McShane)

Boeing Scholar Uses Artwork to Elevate Her Flight Training

Story by Mike Cavaliere
Mike Cavaliere photo

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Bella Memeo’s pursuit of an Aeronautical Science degree is getting a boost from the artwork she creates to help her learn.

Bella Memeo, an Aeronautical Science freshman at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott Campus, kicked off her college career by being named to the 2020 cohort of Boeing Scholars. Academics, however, make up just one half of her multi-disciplinary approach to learning.

The other half is artistic.

“I am a very visual person so, for me, I tend to illustrate anything I am learning about,” said the Spokane, Washington, native. “I have both digital and physical notes that go over aircraft systems and design pretty extensively. I really enjoy being able to understand concepts in this way.”

Additionally, she plans to incorporate this approach into her own future teachings, when she becomes a flight instructor.

“I hope to be able to educate students about flying with advanced symbology and imagery,” she said.

Artwork That Works for Her

Student and artist Belle Memeo's illustrated class notes
Bella Memeo reinforces lessons learned in classes and the flight deck by illustrating new concepts in her notebooks, then reviewing the visuals to make abstract concepts come to life. (Photo: Bella Memeo)

An illustrator, animator and photographer, Memeo displays her artwork online and on social media, but her lifelong love of aircraft runs just as deeply as her artistic aspirations.

“I’ve always grown up around aviation,” she said, noting that that her grandfather was a fighter and commercial pilot. “I was always at airshows and interested in Aeronautical Engineering from a very young age.”

Then, while participating in Civil Air Patrol about five years ago, she heard about Embry-Riddle and, just like that, her future plans were set. Today, just one year into her college career, both are her passions are already hitting milestones and turning into opportunity.

“I just recently passed my stage check and am about to solo soon,” she said. “And, the game studio I work with part-time is taking me on as a lead art director.”

Memeo was one of 13 high school students chosen to be part of the 2020 Boeing Scholars cohort.

What is an Aeronautical Science degree at Embry-Riddle?

The Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science degree prepares graduates to fill these upcoming positions by combining a four-year technical degree with flight training.

Entering the aviation job market with a degree from Embry-Riddle will ensure graduates are considered for top jobs in the industry. Students not only learn to fly, but they also gain skills in leadership, critical thinking and research, as well as insight into the business aspects of the industry.

What is the Boeing Scholars program?

The program gives selected high-school graduates scholarships from The Boeing Company ranging from $5,000 to $7,500 annually for two years to pursue degrees at Embry-Riddle.

The scholarships are supported by a $3 million endowment from Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company and leading aircraft manufacturer.

The Boeing Scholars at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University initiative is directed toward students interested in pursuing degrees in aeronautical science, aircraft maintenance and other fields at Embry-Riddle — the premier aviation and aerospace institution. The scholarships – which will fund a portion of each scholar’s annual tuition – are part of an ongoing effort to expand and diversify the aviation workforce.

Boeing offers Embry-Riddle a number of other valuable programs for students, as well. The Boeing Career Mentoring Program, a highly selective initiative that matches 30-40 students per year with Embry-Riddle alumni who work at Boeing for formal mentorship, is offered to all students at both residential campuses.

The program includes career-preparation advice, as well as regularly scheduled professional development workshops.

Ready to launch your future? Apply now at Embry-Riddle.

Artwork of an airplane by student and artist Bella Memeo
Bella Memeo's art of a an airplane in a hangar.
Artwork of birds flying in the sky by student and artist Bella Memeo
Bella Memeo's artwork of bird flying in the sky, featuring an eagle.

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