Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
APTF Scholar Spotlight 

Since its inception in 1988 the American Public Transportation Foundation has awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarships in pursuit of the APTF's mission of increase and retain the number of individuals choosing the transit field as a career. This spotlight shines on the scholars and professionals who have received awards and shares how they have progressed in the industry. ​

Price, Margi.jpgMarguerite Price, WSO-CSSD
Safety and Security Officer
Delaware Transit Corporation 
2017 Scholarship Recipient

Why public transportation? 
When I think about public transportation, I think about the communities and the people we serve. I think about the quality of life that public transportation offers all people, regardless of their personal walks in life. Public transportation growth also offers a “cleaner” and less congested option for our children.

What are your career goals for the next five years? Longer term? 
My short-term goal is to complete my Master’s degree in Applied Technology in Education. I am very passionate about training and education, especially in transit. Long-term, I would like to be a part of a leadership team that focuses on workforce development and training. I would like to continue to network at grow with transit agencies, nationwide.  
How do you plan to leverage your scholarship to help you reach your career goals?
I plan to use my scholarship to help me finish my master’s degree. Upon completion, I will have a greater understanding of designing, developing, and facilitating training programs through the use of technology.  

How can the industry encourage more young professionals to seek careers in public transportation? 
I think the industry could encourage more young professionals to seek a career in public transportation by communicating the industry’s needs. Working with colleges, even high schools, or offering internships at the local transit properties would give a better perception to our youth, and explain why public transportation is a great industry to work for.

What does the future of public transportation look like from your vantage point? 
Public transportation in the future looks like endless opportunities. As technology and infrastructure grows, so does transportation. Future generations are surrounded by transit options, and we will create more efficient ways to deliver to the demands of transportation.

What would readers be surprised to learn about you? 
I am one of twelve children, (number 11), and I have been known to joke about having transportation in my DNA. My grandfather worked for Pennsylvania Rail Road, and my father worked for Delaware Department of Transportation. 

What would you tell APTA members who don’t know much about the APTF, or are considering giving to APTF?
When you donate to APTF, you are investing in the future of transportation. Our future leaders depend on ways to achieve their goals and dreams, supporting APTF helps make this happen.

How do you stay engaged in APTA? (committee work, attending conferences, standards, etc.)
I currently sit on the APTA Safety committee, and the mobility committee. I read Passenger Transport, follow APTA on LinkedIn, and attend as many webinars as possible.

What is it about being part of delivering day-to-day transit service that inspires you?
The customers are my biggest inspiration, knowing that transit gives people a better quality of life makes this all worth the efforts that we put in to build a greater transit industry. 

APTF Establishes Nathaniel Ford Scholarship

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) Board of Directors has announced the establishment of the Nathaniel Ford Scholarship. The scholarship was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors on October 8, 2017 at its meeting held in conjunction with the APTA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Atlanta, GA. Photo Oct 08, 8 23 44 PM.jpg
This scholarship was funded by an enormously successful fundraising reception, held in honor of APTA’s 2017-2018 Chair, Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. During the reception Mr. Ford thanked those in attendance for their generosity and announced the creation of a scholarship to honor his father, Nathaniel Ford. He recognized his father as his most influential mentor and stated that “his guidance and support helped me as a leader at various agencies. It helped me recognize just how important our customers are. How critical public transit is to our nation’s communities. And how crucial it is to embrace change.” APTA Chair Ford’s father is a respected member of the transit community, serving  for over 40 years at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 
(​APTA 2017-18 Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Ford, 
and ​​Jannet Walker-Ford at the fundraising​ reception​)
The Nathaniel Ford Scholarship will be awarded for the first time in 2018 to a minority applicant pursuing studies in the fields of Mobility, Logistic Management, Innovation Management and/or Science Technology, with the intent to pursue a career in public transportation. APTF Board Chair, Hugh Mose, recognized Nathaniel P. Ford Sr, who has been a longtime supporter of the APTF, and said “the Foundation is grateful to him for championing the fundraiser and the APTF board looks forward to awarding the Nathaniel Ford Scholarship in 2018, the Foundation’s 30th year.”

The fundraising reception raised more than $120,000, which included $75,000 in corporate sponsorships. An additional $46,000 was raised through 160 individual contributions, made by those who attended the reception held on the evening of October 8 in Atlanta, GA. 

The APTF Board would like to thank the following organizations, who sponsored the fundraising reception: ​


APTF Awards Record Amount of Scholarship Funds​ 

​At a ceremony held on October 10 at the APTA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) awarded $149,000 in scholarship funds—a record amount of funds dispersed—to 29 students and public transit professionals.
Since the APTF was created in 1988, the foundation has awarded over $1,000,000 dollars in scholarships to more than 300 scholars pursuing careers in public transportation. This year the APTF board of directors also awarded six single-year scholarships, in addition to the named scholarships. Single-year scholarships are unique for the foundation because they are non-endowed, titled scholarships that are created and awarded in the same year. The six scholarships that were awarded this year were the Dora M. Boswell and John K. Reimer Scholarship, the Mineta Transportation Institute/American Public Transportation Foundation Joint Scholarship, three Leadership APTA Class of 2017 Scholarships and the Cubic Transportation Systems Inc. Scholarship. 

Please visit the Current Scholars page​ to see the 2017 APTF Scholarship Recipients

Help Scholars go BACK TO SCHOOL

back to school_Page_1.jpg

​It’s Back to School time and with that comes a focus on students, at all levels, and their advancement.

The greatest issue facing the public transportation industry is workforce development; leaders are retiring or otherwise leaving the industry faster than qualified replacements can be recruited and trained.

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) is working to address this problem by providing financial assistance to students who are pursing education in a transit-related area of study or are already employed in the industry and seeking to advance. 

 In 2016 the APTF awarded $130,000 in scholarships to 27 scholars and professionals working in public transportation. The APTF would not be able to support the next generation of transit leaders without the generous support of corporate sponsors and individual donors.

The goal of the BACK TO SCHOOL Annual Giving Campaign is to raise $50,000, which will allow the Foundation’s Board of Directors to increase both the size and number of scholarships that we are able to award over the coming year.


To donate, please click on the campaign flyer or visit the Donate Now link.​


APTF Offering Single-Year Scholarships


The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) is pleased to announce the creation of a Single-Year Scholarship program. These scholarships are unique for the foundation because they are non-endowed, titled scholarships that are created and awarded in the same year. This program was created for individuals and organizations who would like to create an APTF sponsorship but may not have the budget to meet the $50,000 commitment necessary for a permanent, named scholarship. 


Did You Know.jpgSingle-Year Scholarships start at $5,000 and the program offers some flexibility for the donor(s). Scholarships may be funded by a single organization or individual, or through multiple smaller contributions. Individual donors contributing less than the $5,000 minimum (but at least $2,000) may fund a jointly-named scholarship, i.e., the Smith-Jones Scholarship. Contributions in multiples of $5,000 may be used to fund additional scholarships in succeeding years or to fund multiple scholarships in one year. Donors will be recognized in APTF materials and announcements as well as at the APTF scholar ceremony at the APTA Annual meeting. Donors will also have the opportunity to suggest scholar selection criteria for their scholarship, i.e. area of study, geographical location, etc.


Single year scholarship recipients will be chosen along with the named scholarships at the APTF Board’s scholarship selection meeting in August.  The scholarships will be awarded during the following APTA Annual Meeting. Additional information may be found on the program flyer​. If are interested in sponsoring a Single-Year Scholarship, or if you have any questions, please contact Lindsey Robertson at 



APTF 2017 - What's Next:


The American Public Transportation Foundation made great strides in 2016, and with your help, we are well on our way to making 2017 even more successful.  Examples of the progress being made this year include:

  • Fully funding the James Cowen Scholarship. As a result of the hard work and personal commitment of APTF Board Member Rick Simonetta, the Cowen Scholarship is now fully funded, which will allow the first scholarship bearing his name to be awarded this October.
  • Awarding our first Single-Year Scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of the Leadership APTA Class of 2017, we will be able to award single-year scholarships named in honor of Joe Niegoski, long-time Program Manager; the Leadership APTA Committee; and the Class of 2017 itself.
  • Establishing our first University Partner Scholarship.  Implementing the suggestion made several years ago by Board Member Alan Wulkan, APTF will join forces with the Mineta Institute to offer at least one scholarship that is jointly funded by the Foundation and the Institute.
  • Developing a new Strategic Plan. Building on the work done three years ago by Barbara Gannon, Crystal Lyons, the New Initiatives Committee, under the leadership of Board Member Anne Louise Rice, is working hard to complete the Foundation’s first true Strategic Plan.

Please consider contributing to the Foundation so that we can continue to fulfill our mission to increase and retain the number of individuals choosing the transit field as a career by providing scholarships and engagement opportunities to deserving students and transit professionals – our future leaders.


2016 AP​TF Scholars Celebrated at the APTA Annual Meeting



On September 13, the APTF presented scholarships to the 27 scholars at the 2016 APTA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA. A total of $130,000 in academic scholarships was awarded, the highest amount in the history of the Foundation.


​At the ceremony the APTF recognized the recipients of the inaugural Valarie J. McCall and Bombardier scholarships:


Golda Speyer is the recipient of the Valarie J. McCall scholarship and is sponsored by the National Transit Institute at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Golda will use the scholarship to assist her as she completes her Master's Degree in transportation planning while working full-time in a local planning agency. She hopes pursue a career as a transportation land use planner.

(Pictured left to right: APTA President and CEO, Dick White, APTF Board Chair, Jennifer Mitchell, Golda Speyer, APTA Immediate Past Chair, Valarie McCall, Paul Larrousse, APTA Chair, Doran Barnes)​​​​​​​


Coleman_Cristal.jpgCristal Coleman is the recipient of the Bombardier Scholarship and is sponsored by HDR. Cristal is thankful to Bombardier and the APTF for providing the scholarship, which will help her as she works to complete her degree in Construction Management at the University of the District of Columbia.


The APTF also offered a one-time scholarship in 2016 in the name of Clarence “Cal” Marsella. As General Manager at RTD in Denver, Cal championed and directed FasTracks, a project nationally recognized for its innovation and vision. APTA recognized his outstanding work by naming him Outstanding Public Transportation Manager in 2006. The scholarship offered in Cal’s name was made possible by his family and his wife Sheri, who requested that donations be made in his memory to the foundation.  

Jacob Neu is the recipient of the Cal Marsell​a scholarship and is sponsored by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. As a veteran, Jacob is honored to receive the scholarship in Cal’s name, which will help him as he completes his degree in Civil Engineering​.


See the full list of 2016 APTF Scholars 

Our Mission: 'To increase and retain the number of individuals choosing the transit field as a career by providing scholarships and engagement opportunities to deserving students and transit professionals - our future leaders.'​ 

American Public Transportation Foundation
1300 I Street NW
Suite 1200 East
Washington, DC 20005


Phone: 202.496.4818