The Betty Skelton GALA
(Girls Achieving Leadership in Aviation)

Women Soar!

TBAA is very pleased to offer the Betty Skelton GALA Scholarship. This fund provides scholarship money for young women in the Tampa Bay area to pursue an education in aviation. The full overview and application forms are linked to download at the bottom of this page.

The inaugural GALA fundraising event held in March 2022 commemorated the 75th anniversary of the first All Woman Air Show hosted at Peter O. Knight Airport in 1949. The special celebration raised Generous donations made by significant sponsors of the event were used to fund the scholarship. This annual event celebrates women in aviation past, present and future by continuing to raise funds each year for this important cause. The GALA Scholarship Fund is named after a local aviation trailblazer, Betty Skelton.

Known as “The First Lady of Firsts”, she began her aviation career at Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF) in the 1940s. She flew aerobatics and raced at the first All Woman Air Show in 1949 to help raise awareness of women in aviation after WWII. She was an international aerobatics champion and later became a professional racecar driver for Chevrolet. Betty broke more aviation and automotive records than anyone else in history. Her biplane, “Little Stinker”, hangs in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.


Application Opens:
  July 15, 2022 and closes August 31, 2022

Application Review Period: August 31, 2022 through September 15, 2022

Awarded: September 24, 2022 at the Women in Aviation International’s, Girls In Aviation Day, held at the Sheltair Hangar, Tampa International Airport

Award Amount: $1,000 and up; the number of awards will vary based on applications received

Betty Skelton GALA Scholarship Overview and Requirements:
  • Scholarships may be applied for online through the TBAA website:
  • Students must plan to pursue an aerospace or aviation-related major at an accredited college or university or may pursue a pilot certificate. Applicants must show leadership potential, and a desire to achieve high-level careers in aviation.



CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD APPLICATION (Please email completed application to

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