Four Students Awarded Paul Downs Memorial Aviation Scholarship for Summer Session of MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus

HOUSTON, Texas (June 13, 2018) — The Houston campus of MIAT College of Technology (MIAT), has awarded four local aviation technology students with the Inaugural Paul Downs Memorial Aviation Scholarship. Students Amare Biftu, Johnny Castro, Serge Fotso, and Serges Kenfack each received a $500 scholarship that will be applied toward their tuition for the MIAT Houston campus early summer session that begins on June 20.

All scholarship applicants were required to submit an essay, a transcript of their grades at MIAT, and other documentation for review by MIAT’s scholarship committee. Biftu, a native of Ethiopia who became a U.S. citizen, has completed 2100 hours in MIAT’s Aviation Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Technician Program. He has a 3.67 grade point average. Castro, who relocated to Texas from New York about a year ago, has completed 534 hours and has a GPA of 3.92. Fotso, who has been a long-time aviation buff, has completed 534 hours of technical training and has a 3.46 GPA. Kenfack, an aspiring pilot, has completed 562.25 hours and has a 3.94 GPA.

These scholarship recipients are pursuing careers in the aviation maintenance and repair sector of the aviation industry. When they complete their formal training, each will pursue certification as an Airframe and Powerplant Technician. A&P certifications are granted through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following a stringent testing process. Qualified A&P technicians work in a wide range of jobs with commercial airlines, corporate aviation departments, helicopter fleets, unmanned aircraft (drones), general aviation (light, private aircraft), manufacturing, repair and overhaul, and avionics.

Downs was a long-time employee of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and a well-respected member of the aviation community. This memorial scholarship program was funded through private contributions from friends and members of the Downs family. Downs died in December 2017 at the age of 67.

“Paul Downs was a cherished member of the FAA Safety Team based in Houston. MIAT is honored to have partnered with the FAA as the technical college designated to award the scholarship in his memory. We know that these generous contributions made in memory of Mr. Downs are helping a new generation enter the aviation industry,” commented John Willis, MIAT Houston president. “Our faculty, staff and students value Paul and his life-long commitment to the aviation industry and all of us who support it. Paul and his legacy will never be forgotten.”

About MIAT College of Technology

MIAT College of Technology was founded in Michigan in 1969 and has built a strong reputation and effective, mutually beneficial working relationships with leading employers throughout the United States. Having almost 50 years of vocational and technical education experience, MIAT serves several hundred students at its 125,000 square-foot headquarters facility in Canton near the Detroit Metropolitan Airport and its 40,400 square-foot campus in Houston near the Bush Intercontinental Airport. The Houston campus, which opened in 2010, is approved to accept international students. Both campuses offer admissions guidance, career services, financial services, housing assistance, and a Learning Resource Center.

With the support of highly qualified and actively engaged faculty and staff, MIAT College of Technology has graduated thousands of students since its inception. MIAT equips its students with the industry-relevant skills, experience, relationships and connections to employers that it takes to pursue rewarding technical careers.

MIAT develops its programs and curricula in direct response to feedback and input from industry leaders who are seeking qualified employees. The school collaborates with its employer partners to tailor its programs to address the highest needs and priorities of the end users in the industries that they exist to serve. MIAT graduates gain the confidence and extensive preparation that facilitate a smooth transition into the workplace through their industry-influenced, practical training.

MIAT also offers customized industry-specific training for strategic employment partners locally and nationally, which include the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, Siemens, Marathon Oil, DTE, and many others. The Canton campus offers co-op programs with numerous local high schools, and the Houston campus also offers a co-op program via the Houston Independent School District at Sterling High School near Hobby Airport.

In addition to Aviation Maintenance Technology, MIAT offers programs full-time in Heating Ventilating Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR), Energy, and Wind Power. The school\’s curriculum for the Aviation Maintenance Technology Associate in Applied Science degree and Airframe and Powerplant Technician certificate is approved by the FAA under CFR Part 147. MIAT is in the process of preparing to offer programs in Welding at its Houston campus and for Electro-Mechanical Technology at its Canton campus.

For more information, please visit or call the Canton campus at 800-447-1310 or the Houston campus at 888-547-7047. Tours at each campus are welcome and available by appointment.

MIAT is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).


Media Contacts:                 

Laura M. Pennino, Senior PR Consultant for MIAT College of Technology
281-286-9398 office,

 John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston president
832-234-5779 office,