Thursday, August 01, 2013

Diana, The Winner of a Dreams Take Flight Scholarship, Summer 2013!

We are so happy to announce the first winner for a 2013 Spring Scholarship Program: Diana LeSueur!

The Girls With Wings Dreams Take Flight Scholarship is designed to introduce the world of aviation to someone who would benefit from experiencing the joy of flight. The award of this scholarship is intended to fund introductory flight training to encourage achievement of a stated goal, whether in aviation or in another field of study. There is no prerequisite flight training required for this scholarship, just enthusiasm and the desire to learn. The Dreams Take Flight Scholarship is an award in the amount of $500.00.

We are doing something simply unprecedented this year and we are super excited to finally be able to share the news with you. We are announcing NUMEROUS awards for our summer program instead of the usual two. Why? Because we are fortunate to receive donations and membership fees that people entrust to us because they believe and support the mission of Girls With Wings. There is no need or benefit to keep cash idling in the bank when the following individuals can take flight!

Here is Diana's application essay:

I have been teaching science in Mesa, Arizona for 24 years. Eleven years ago I was selected to work with 5th grade students throughout the Mesa Public School District on scientific principles using the theme of aviation. The custom designed classroom, we call the Flight Center, is equipped with the technology to allow students to apply the knowledge they have learned. Here, the students are pilots-in-training and I play the role of their flight instructor. We begin with a practice flight using Hartel trainers. The class divides into groups and rotates through the following stations: COMPUTERS - Flying a Cessna 172 on one of eight computers set up with Microsoft Flight Simulator, control stick and rudder pedals. DISCOVERY - Engage in science experiments relating to principles that effect flight. HELICOPTER TRAINER- Built from parts of an MD500, students experience the technology and applications of helicopter flight. AIRPLANE SIMULATOR - The simulator has control surfaces, like a real plane, which move as different maneuvers are performed. It climbs, dives, rolls, and yaws left and right, in response to the pilot moving the control stick and rudder pedals.

In addition to the Flight Center during the school year, I started a summer aviation program for middle school students. I am able to cover expenses by receiving grants from Boeing and a partnership with the Commemorative Air Force at Falcon Field Airport. We integrate scientific process skills, careers, history of flight and transportation, engineering skills and the principles of flight through activities and guest speakers including professional and private pilots, air craft mechanics, ATCs and more. We take them on field trips to the Air National Guard, aviation businesses, flight schools and local airports. The students also have the unique opportunity to visit Boeing, home of the Apache AH-64.

As I have watched some of my students progress to become Civil Air Patrol cadets, pilots and aeronautical engineers, childhood dreams have resurfaced and my desire to be a pilot has grown stronger. I thought at my age it might be too late to pursue an adventure such as this. Through the encouragement of a couple lady pilot friends, teachers I have met at international teacher conferences, and friends from the Air National guard, I learned that it is never too late! I also realized that the more I learn about aviation, the better instructor I am and the more impact I can have on the youth.

My goal is to add another dimension to my life in aviation by earning my private pilot certificate and become a certified flight instructor. Maybe some of my current students will be my ‘real’ flight students in the future. I encourage all of them to explore their options within aviation and I am doing this myself.

I was selected by Boeing to attend Space Camp for Educators in 2011. I present at SEEC, Space Exploration Educator Conference, and I teach professional development trainings in my school district. I have presented our aviation programs at local events such as fly-ins and Sci-Tech conferences. I am involved with cub scouts and am an aviation merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts of America. I have become involved with Think Global Flight, the Ninety-Nines, and Women in Aviation. They have been a wonderful source of guidance and encouragement.

I look forward to my involvement in the Girls With Wings organization. This will be an invaluable source of inspiration throughout my flight training. I would also be honored to eventually become a role model for Girls With Wings. My desire is to give back to the community, and by sharing my experiences and passion I hope to reach and motivate more girls to follow their dreams. It is important for the youth to have mentors who can influence them to reach higher and achieve more than they thought possible. I strive to be that kind of mentor.

I set up a separate savings account for my flight training and have been saving money for a couple years. My husband and son are pulling together to support and encourage me. My teaching position is part-time and my husband is self-employed, working on building his own business, therefore money is very tight. I have enough saved to get through a good portion of my training and hope that I will be awarded scholarships to help. If needed, I will use a loan to complete my training. I will reach my goal! I plan to be in the position to one day pay back to scholarship funds and help another student pilots realize their dreams as I am doing.

I am ready to push through barriers in my path to realize my dream of becoming a pilot and would be thrilled to be chosen as a recipient of The Girls With Wings Dreams Take Flight Scholarship.

We wish Diana great success in the pursuit of her dreams! We look forward to hearing about your training.

See the details of the 2014 Scholarship program starting January 1st, 2014.

Please note that the scholarships are funded by donations - so we need contributions from people like YOU to keep our program running. We always have way more deserving applicants than funds. Visit our donation page to help.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Diana! So proud of you and what a wonderful essay!