Atlas Air Scholarship Recipients Pursue Lofty Goals

Atlas Air Scholarship Fund’s inaugural employee dependent scholarship program drew an impressive group of candidates. The 10 recipients of $3,000 scholarships are students from diverse backgrounds, pursuing lofty goals ranging from entertainment and politics to aviation and medicine. The program was administered through Scholarship America, which selected the recipients from the pool of eligible applicants, all dependents of Atlas’ U.S.-based employees. We congratulate the recipients and their proud parents.

Carlota (Carly) is inspired by her father, Atlas Air 737 Check Captain Michael Mortiz. The 20-year-old senior, who is studying aeronautics at Kent State University, loves to travel and looks forward to a career crisscrossing the globe as a professional pilot. 

“My dad has definitely impacted my education and carrier decisions,” Carly said. “He is always excited about going to work even after so many years, which can be rare nowadays. Not only does he love his job, but he loves the company he works for, and ultimately, I think that is something everyone wants and deserves.”  

Michael said it is especially gratifying that Carly has been rewarded for her dedication by his own employer. 

“This scholarship opportunity is of tremendous value to our family,” Michael said. “Carly has always been hard working and driven and has gone above and beyond to achieve her goals in both academics and sports. Because of her work ethic and perseverance, she has seen a lot of doors open. As an Atlas employee, I am very grateful to Atlas for rewarding well-deserving students with this very generous scholarship.” 


Ryan, a junior studying biological science at Florida International University, is completing flight training to earn his commercial pilot license as he follows a well-defined path toward becoming an astronaut. 

“I strive to make myself better qualified to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming an astronaut,” said 20-year-old Ryan, who is from Miami and enjoys playing piano and tending to his garden. “Atlas is supporting me to reach my goals by making college more financially viable and allowing me to allocate my finances to flight training. Being chosen for the scholarship is an amazing opportunity, and I’m very grateful to my father for always pushing forward and looking out for me and my family.”  

Ryan’s father, First Officer Rolando Vidal, said Ryan has always dedicated himself to his passions. 

 “Ryan has always been committed to completing as many requirements as he could get, so that hopefully one day he could fulfill his goal of becoming an astronaut,” Rolando said. “He is very grateful and focused, and his desire to meet his goal has never diminished.” 


Christin is a senior working toward a Bachelor of Science in Dance Management at the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment at Oklahoma City University. After college, she hopes to work with the Walt Disney Company or Universal Studies in Florida – a long way from her hometown in Kenai, Alaska.  

Christin hopes to work in the film and television industry as a director and producer while continuing to remain involved in the live-entertainment world. She said she is grateful to have been chosen for the Atlas Air scholarship, and she intends to pay it forward. After establishing herself in the industry, her goal is to open a non-profit dance center aimed at the under-served populations of her community, wherever that may be.  

Christin’s father, First Officer Richard D. Baker, said he and his wife Carla are proud of the dedication their daughter has shown to her chosen field. 

Christin has been laser focused on her future in the dance/entertainment industry since early in her high school experience,” he said. “She is now the hardest working 21-year-old we know while still being a very caring person. We love her dearly.” 


Arkansas Tech University senior William is studying business management and pre-law in preparation for a law career that he hopes will lead to a future in politics.  

“Ten years from now, after what will hopefully be a successful stint in corporate law, I wish to become politically involved in the great state of Texas as a politician or attorney general,” said William, 22, who is from Fort Worth and plays for the university’s baseball team.  

He also is a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Council, the National College Athlete Honor Society and Beta Gamma Sigma international honor society for collegiate schools of business. 

“I am so very proud of Will for all that he has accomplished so far,” said his father, Line Maintenance Manager Jay Horton. “He’s very deserving of the Atlas scholarship.”  


Wesley, a freshman studying marketing at the University of Cincinnati, is pursuing a career in real estate. 

“In 10 years, I hope to be selling homes in Cincinnati and growing my brand to reach new states,” said Wesley, who is from Harrison, Ohio, and enjoys playing guitar, staying fit and working on his personal development.  

“Being selected (for this scholarship) confirmed to me that the hard work I’ve been putting into myself has been paying off. The journaling and writing that I knew I needed to be doing – but didn’t always want to do – has advanced my mind to something that is very capable. Winning the scholarship will only increase my momentum.”