Written by Ginger Ollison, Financial Aid Officer and Jennifer Butler, Assistant Campus Director
Randi Amos walked through the doors of AIM Houston for the first time in August of 2016. After her tour of the campus, it was time to meet with Financial Aid. She was so nervous, she was visibly shaking. Her Financial Aid Officer, Ms. Ginger Ollison, asked her what was wrong, as Randi was in clear distress. Her response was, “I want to go to school but I know that finances will be the reason I am unable to go because I have no money saved to go to school.” Ms. Ollison put her at ease and let her know there are many opportunities to help pay for school. From there, they began working with Randi to determine her eligibility. After completing the financial aid process, Randi learned that not only was she able to go to school, but she was able to afford it. On August 22, 2016, with a smile on her face and her head held high, Randi began her journey, started her first block, and never looked back.
Amidst Randi’s new adventure in returning to school, her mother fell ill and her health deteriorated rapidly. Although Randi remained strong, her pain was visible. Staff members recall seeing her in the hallway, but she did not appear to be the same person as when she started; always so full of joy and excitement. Ms. Ollison asked Randi to come to her office so she could learn how life had been treating Randi. Confident in the guidance and support Ms. Ollison had always practiced, Randi released her anguish and told Ms. Ollison about her struggles and her mother’s terminal health conditions. Randi expressed that despite her daily challenge to cope, she was determined to finish school.
Sadly, a year later Randi’s mom passed away. Ms. Ollison was determined to support Randi and checked on her progress often. Everyday, Randi found the strength to give a partial smile and insisted she was getting along. It wasn’t until three months before graduation that Ms. Ollison learned Randi was homeless and had been sleeping in her car in a parking lot. With immediate concern, Ms. Ollison reached out to Randi to express that she was willing to work with her to provide any assistance or resources she needed to make it to graduation. Ms. Ollison stressed to Randi that she was not alone; her AIM Houston family was there to support her.
Through losing her only parent, homelessness and other life obstacles, not only did Randi graduate on time, she also passed all her testing and became an FAA Certified Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic. Randi knew she had accomplished more than she ever dreamed possible and was excited to move to the next phase to make her mom proud. The A&P certified technician decided to venture out to start her new career in Oscoda, Michigan with Kalitta Air. We are very proud of her and know she will accomplish great things. She beat the odds, focused on her dreams, and became a shining example of true success. Congratulations Randi Amos, we are so proud of you!
About Aviation Institute of Maintenance:
Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast in the United States and headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demand of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the Federal Aviation Administration exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, San Francisco Bay, Orlando and Norfolk. Visit AviationMaintenance.edu or call (888) FIX-JETS for more information.