Boeing Scholarship Helps Eagle Land Where He "Always Wanted to Be"

What’s better than attending your dream school? For Luke Boardman, it was also earning an exclusive scholarship from one of the world’s premier aerospace companies.

Aviation Maintenance Science major and Boeing Scholar Luke Boardman at Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach campus.
Aviation Maintenance Science major and Boeing Scholar Luke Boardman at Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach campus. (Photo: Luke Boardman)

By the time he was in seventh grade, Luke Boardman (’24) had already requested information about attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

His course has never wavered since then, and today Boardman is studying for his B.S. in Aviation Maintenance Science and enjoying the boost he’s getting after being named to this year’s cohort of elite Boeing Scholars.

“I am still amazed I got [the scholarship],” said Boardman, who is in his first year at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus. “It has actually helped me pay off this term and I’m excited about taking part in some of the activities offered through the scholarship.”

Although he doesn’t come from an aviation family, Boardman has always been interested in planes and how they work. But at his high school in the small town of Social Circle, Ga., Boardman said he was the “only person who liked planes.”

Initially, Boardman figured he would study aeronautical or aerospace engineering, but when he started experimenting with building and flying remote control aircraft about five years ago, his focused shifted.

“I really loved working with my hands. I didn’t want to sit at a desk,” Boardman said. “I was not a very good pilot, but I was good at fixing things and that’s when I knew what I wanted to do.”

The dual enrollment and advanced placement classes he took in high school helped ease his entry into Embry-Riddle but being selected for the Boeing Scholar program came as a complete, but very pleasant, surprise.

Boardman said he was working his summer job at a farm near his Georgia home when he got the call at 9 a.m.

“I didn’t really know much about the program,” he said. “Then I did some research online and I realized it was something pretty special.”

Boardman recently attended a Boeing Scholar luncheon where he learned even more about some of the opportunities that will be available, including group projects, trips to Boeing facilities and potential internship opportunities.

To him, however, one of the biggest benefits is the chance to meet and mingle with Boeing team members in formal and informal ways, something Boardman believes will help pave his path to success.

“I am really looking forward to making those connections,” he said.

While Boardman is now focused on enjoying his Embry-Riddle experience, his selection as a Boeing Scholar also has him looking ahead to some specific goals once he earns his degree.

“I can certainly see myself working for Boeing,” he said. “I would want to do anything involved with testing or maintenance, either there or with one of the major airlines.”