OOIDA scholarship helps trucker's son realize engineering career

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 1/12/2017

Trevor Layh, a systems engineer at General Dynamics Mission Systems in Bloomington, Minn., gives his father much of the credit for where he is today.

A longtime truck driver, OOIDA Senior Member Glenn Layh passed on to his son a strong work ethic and a passion for learning how things work. He also provided the opportunity for Trevor to earn a scholarship.


Trevor Layh, son of OOIDA Senior Member Glenn Layh, was the 2009 first-place winner of the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship

Trevor Layh, a native of Winner, S.D., was the 2009 first-place winner of the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship. The $2,000 Trevor received each year helped him earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from South Dakota State University. He went on to obtain a master’s degree in aerospace, aeronautical and space engineering from the University of Minnesota. He has worked at General Dynamics Mission Systems since November 2014.

“My dad’s membership with OOIDA obviously gave me the outlet to get the money,” Trevor said. “I had to finish atop the applicants, but my dad’s job and membership got my foot in the door. I got a few scholarships, but the OOIDA one kind of stands out because of the uniqueness of it.”

Each year, the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund awards one $2,000 scholarship and four $1,000 scholarships. The students – who must be children, grandchildren or legal dependents of OOIDA members – are selected in a blind evaluation conducted by the Scholarship Advisory Committee.

The applications for this year’s OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship must be postmarked by Feb. 1.

Trevor said his father introduced him to mechanics by letting him help with repairs to the truck.

“I knew I was going to school for engineering, but I decided to make mechanical my focus,” he said. “That probably had a direct link back to me growing up around the truck and helping my dad out.”

Trevor said his father also taught him a great work ethic.

“It set the tone not that you’re necessarily expected to work all the time, but you need to work in order to live and you try not to depend on others as much as possible,” Trevor said. “You try to be as independent as possible.”

Students in search of a scholarship must submit an application, a 500 word essay, and a transcript from high school or an institution of higher learning.

Scholarship awards are transferred directly to the student’s selected institution and can be renewed for a total of four years. The funds can be used for tuition or any legitimate school-related expenses.

Go to the OOIDA website to learn more about the scholarship program and to download an application.

Copyright © OOIDA