Being the founder of Girls With Wings has been the single greatest, most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life. Becoming a pilot has dropped to close second, but I couldn't do GWW without having done so. I took advantage of a deficiency - so few women in such a male dominated field - and turned it into an opportunity to inspire girls to have an interest in aviation. There's hardly any way to know if I've been successful over the last ten years or so (mainly because it's a little sensitive tracking minors). I'm hoping that they'll choose to contact me years from now if I was able to impact their lives in any form - aviation achievements or otherwise.
A supplemental mission became encouraging the older girls to finish up their pilot certificates, and thanks to many generous donations, we've been able to provide ELEVEN scholarships at $9000. However, the percentage of women pilots is still just a measly 6% overall. And though I have met a multitude of almost pilots who are now full blown pilots, they probably would have done it without me and my efforts through Girls With Wings. It is great, therefore, to receive such an enthusiastic thank you as I did from Natalie, one of our Spring 2012 Scholarship Winners who successfully received a Private Pilot License because of funds awarded by GWW and provided by the Antelope Valley Chapter of the 99s.
Girls With Wings is an incredible organization. Thank you so much to you and the (Antelope Valley Chapter) 99s. I am honored that you believe in my aviation dream. This scholarship gave me the extra boost, determination, and encouragement to finish my Private Pilot License by the summer. I feel so fortunate and blessed for this incredible honor. It made an enormous impact on my life! Thank you for the support and advice, I truly appreciate it.
Looking forward to the next aviation goals: Ground Instructor and IFR (Instrument Rating). Now, I am working out the game plan to accomplish these ratings. Never enough hours in a day, I just love to fly! Three years ago I never thought this could become a reality. Yet, my dream was meant to come true. I am thankful to Girls With Wings and the (Antelope Valley Chapter) 99s for this encouragement to go after your aviation dream!
Thank you for inspiring the future aviators of tomorrow! You are amazing! The time, effort and traveling as a pilot to motivational speaker is inspirational. You are sharing a passion that many do not realize is possible to learn to fly especially girls. Best wishes an may all your dreams for Girls With Wings come true!
Thank you and Happy Flying,
p.s. We need to fly soon!
Thank YOU, Natalie, for letting me know what Girls With Wings has meant to you.
Sunday, September 09, 2012
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
I give to you the first essay from Meagan, the recipient of our 2012 Summer Private Pilot Scholarship. The Girls With Wings Scholarship Program provides funds for flight training to selected individuals with a willingness to be superlative GWW role models. Winners show potential to continue her interaction with the GWW organization, via the website and events, so she can assist GWW in encouraging more young girls to have an interest in aviation. Part of the obligation for being awarded the scholarship is to submit at least one picture and an associated journal entry once a month for three months to the Girls With Wings blog to share with others her training, as well as email a final essay summarizing how the scholarship helped her, what she learned and her intent to continue her work as a role model and volunteer for the Girls With Wings, Inc., organization.
Stay tuned for more essays from our scholarship winners. And now, may we present Meagan:
As Lynda mentioned, in the announcement of the Private Pilot Flight Training Scholarship, I successfully passed my checkride on July 21st, 2012. It was the best day of my life!!! I had never worked so hard for something that I truly wanted. During my checkride, I was nervous, scared, and confident, all at the same time! Everything that I had been working toward came down to this one deciding moment. I cried when the examiner told me I passed my checkride. Passing meant the world to me! My tears were tears of joy, excitement, relief, and a huge sense of accomplishment! My flight instructor later told me that I was the most prepared person he had ever seen take a checkride. Meanwhile, all I could think about was how it could have gone better and how I could have known more! That's one of the things I love so much about flying. When you obtain a private pilots certificate, you are obtaining a life long license to learn! I learn something new every time I fly. That's why I encourage everyone to fly as much and as often as they can! The experience gained is priceless.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said:
There were many times, in my flight training, when I felt fear and my self-confidence was low. I think my biggest fear was fear of failure, but just like Amelia said "fears are paper tigers." Fears are only as real as you make them! Every time I faced my fears, put myself out there, and kept moving forward, I became a stronger person! Learning how to fly will change you. I challenge you to face your fears!
Watch me face one of my fears in my first solo video! My first solo was on April 25, 2012. I hope my video inspires girls to want to complete their first solo flight.
Now, that I'm a Private Pilot, I get to take my friends and family flying! I'm going to fly my best friend to Catalina Island for her birthday this month :) Flying is so much fun, especially when you are the pilot in command! You can explore new horizons and go places you've never gone before! Being a girl is way fun, but being a girl who flys is way funner!!!
Happy flying, everyone! Go out and be the next girl to pursue her dream and earn her wings!
Monday, September 03, 2012
I give to you the first essay from Alyssa Mae, the recipient of our 2012 Summer "Dreams Take Flight" Scholarship. The Girls With Wings Scholarship Program provides funds for flight training to selected individuals with a willingness to be superlative GWW role models. Winners show potential to continue her interaction with the GWW organization, via the website and events, so she can assist GWW in encouraging more young girls to have an interest in aviation. Part of the obligation for being awarded the scholarship is to submit at least one picture and an associated journal entry once a month for three months to the Girls With Wings blog to share with others her training, as well as email a final essay summarizing how the scholarship helped her, what she learned and her intent to continue her work as a role model and volunteer for the Girls With Wings, Inc., organization.
Stay tuned for more essays from our other scholarship winner. And now, may we present Alyssa Mae:
First and foremost I would really like to thank Girls With Wings for so generously endowing me with the Dreams Take Flight Scholarship. I feel truly blessed and honored to have received such a gift. It has pushed me to get my feet off the ground (literally) and to start flying lessons! It will be a tremendous help as the money I have saved up so far, doesn't cover that much.
I would also like to extend a huge thanks to my mentor Chuck, who not only told me about this scholarship; but is also helping me a lot with starting my flying lessons. When I found out about this scholarship I was actually in Oshkosh, Wisconsin! I was part of the Cliff Robertson Work Experience program at EAA/EAA Air Academy. It was an amazing summer, and one of the best parts was that my internship included free instructional time! I had some of the best instructors ever and I truly learned a lot. I earned about 8 hours there flying in EAA's Cessna SkyCatchers. The flights we took were incredible! I flew at sunset, in the rain, and even 80 miles away to Door County and over Lake Michigan! The absolute best feeling of my life was when I got to take off, fly for 2 hours, and LAND all on my own!!!!
So between the instructional time I received out in OSH, and this wonderful scholarship; I knew it was time that I signed up for actual flying lessons! Tweed Airport is about 10 minutes away from my school so I signed up for flying lessons there thought their flight school called Robinson Aviation. This week I met with the manager and received my POH and area sectional. I set up my first flying lesson for September 16 and my medical examination for September 21! I'm excited!
With the scholarship and my saved money, I have enough for a good chunk of flight time. But I have a rather annoying dilemma - I don't turn 17 until June 28, 2013. So from now until then, I guess I will just pace myself. I don't want to rush or go too slow. (as long as I'm flying, I'm happy) Currently, I plan to finish Sporty's online ground school course and memorize my POH for the Piper Warrior! Thanks again Girls With Wings, your scholarship will go to good use! :)