This Scholarship is to Honor the Legacy and Memory of Joseph Ermel, a second year Aviation Flight and Technologies student at SIU. (Class of '24). The scholarship will help a freshman or sophomore student enrolled in the Aviation Tech program each academic year by providing $500 to purchase a toolkit for the Aviation Tech program. The recipient of the scholarship must demonstrate financial need, show an initiative and passion for learning, have a history of volunteering and giving back to their community.
Joe always had a deep passion for Aviation and began Flying with his Grandpa before he was two years old. He began his Flight training in his Grandfather's 1946 Aeronca Champ, and soloed both the Champ and a Cherokee on his 16th Birthday. He earned his Private Pilot certificate shortly after his 17th Birthday, and immediately started giving back by sharing the Gift of Flight with youth as a Young Eagle Pilot with his local EAA Chapter. Joey exuded a spirit of volunteerism ever since he was a young kid, and was always helping others. Whether he was feeding the homeless, donating Birthday money and packing MannaPacks at FMSC, volunteering with his local EAA Chapters and at Oshkosh, or lending a hand to those in need, Joey was always willing to go beyond with his time and effort.
Joey had a very hefty school schedule, worked at the Airport and still achieved Dean’s List recognition. Joseph posthumously earned Magna cum Laude on his degree. His Mom always encouraged him to do his Best. Joey worked extremely hard at everything he did and would always strive to do his Best.
Joseph enjoyed working side by side with his Grandfather in the hangar, especially while learning how to take care of the Champ. He was always interested in figuring out how things worked. Joey loved being a Saluki, and he absolutely loved his SIU tech classes. He also acquired an interesting fascination with aneroid wafers. When Joey was preparing for his Freshman year at SIU, his toolkit was an unexpected expense. Joey and his Mom had to get creative with the budget, yet Joe took the initiative to research and find the best cost for the many tools that he needed. He took great pride in his tool chest and was grateful to be able to have a complete set of tools when he went to school. This Scholarship is to help offset the cost of an Aviation Toolkit for an Aviation Tech student.
“It is our Family's hope that other Salukis will be able to carry on Joey's passion for learning, and always take pride in doing their Impeccable Best in school and in their future careers as an A&P or beyond. We hope that recipients will carry an "Attitude of Gratitude" and remember to give back to others as well when they can.” – Aymee Zimmerman (Joey’s mom)