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Introducing the First Robert Kleros Scholarship Recipient: Daniel Van Epps

The Robert John Kleros Memorial Endowed Scholarship is an annual program established by JSSI to benefit students pursuing careers in aircraft maintenance at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Each recipient is selected on the merit of their passion for aviation, leadership qualities, and sense of determination. The scholarship provides funding for tuition fees, textbooks, and other items included in the cost of education. The fund was founded to celebrate the life of Robert, son of George and Catherine Kleros, and commemorate his exuberance for life and love for his family and friends. A 30-year business aviation maintenance industry veteran, George Kleros is senior vice president of JSSI Advisory Services and a recipient of the National Business Aviation Association’s Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation award, honoring individuals for outstanding professionalism and leadership in support of aviation safety.

Daniel Van Epps, who received this year’s Robert John Kleros Memorial Endowed Scholarship, is a final year student at Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Florida. Having already completed the university’s Airframe and Powerplant Tech school, he will finish his degree with a business minor, taking classes in aviation business law, air carrier operations, and marketing. Van Epps is set to take his powerplant and airframe certification examinations early this year after which point, he will be a fully certified FAA mechanic.

Van Epps says when he learned his application for the scholarship was successful, it was a meaningful moment for him and his family. “I’m the oldest of four kids and have always tried to pay my own way forward to take some financial pressure off my parents. Making good grades while working to pay my rent is quite a juggle and not always possible,” adds Van Epps. “This scholarship will allow me to put my head down and focus on achieving the grades I need.”

Van Epps plans to gain more practical experience in his field during an internship this summer. As for his long-term goals, Van Epps has his sights set on Honda. “My biggest career goal is to work on Honda jets, either for the company itself or in a business aviation capacity. Honda is very near and dear to my heart, as are its aircraft,” says Van Epps, “I hope to pay off my student loans while working on jets and hopefully one day start a business of my own with the experience and knowledge I’ll gain.”

For more information on the Robert John Kleros Memorial Endowed Scholarship and to find out how to apply, please visit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.