Monday, November 25, 2013

A bonus post from Caitlin, a Girls With Wings Dreams Take Flight Scholarship Winner!

Hopefully you've been keeping up with all of the amazing essays from all of the Girls With Wings scholarship winners - of which there have been many! 

Caitlin was awarded a $500 Girls With Wings Dreams Take Flight Scholarship Winner in Summer 2013 and you can review all of her posts made since then. I first heard from Caitlin before the scholarship applications were being accepted to ask if she could get a waiver on the prerequisite to have soloed in order to apply for the bigger Private Pilot Scholarship. Unfortunately, I had to tell her no, even though she was so close to soloing. Sadly, she then experienced a few setbacks... But she never gave up. She has since passed her Private Pilot checkride and is pursuing her instrument - you can read her own amazing personal blog, Cessna Chick.

Many of the previous scholarship recipients have submitted post-award essays, and this one just completely warms my heart. I am so glad I can be a part of all of these incredible journeys through Girls With Wings. And you can too. Just keep reading...

From Caitlin:

As some of you might know from reading my application essay and my blog posts after winning the Dreams Take Flight scholarship that I had a set back in my training right before I soloed.

For a few reasons involving: a horrible progress check, a very inconsistent schedule, and some lack of confidence, I wasn't sure I ever was going to solo. The mere thought of flying an airplane by myself made me sick to my stomach. How do you get over that feeling?

I ended up overcoming it and now love flying solo. I just needed a bit of confidence. I feel Girls With Wings helped me a lot with my confidence by giving such great support and helped me hop that hurdle in my training.

This issue arose in June, but came to a climax in July, before I knew the results of the scholarship. I struggled at the end of July with quitting altogether; maybe I wasn't supposed to fly. I wasn't cut out for it. Those were a tough couple of days for me. But a few days before July ended I gave it another shot with a different instructor and school, who would become my CFI for the rest of my training. I felt better, but was still unsure if I'd ever get to the point of flying by myself without feeling I had to throw up.

Then I won the Dreams Take Flight scholarship. My confidence soared (sorry for the pun.) If others believed in my ability to fly, why shouldn’t I believe in myself? 12 days and 4 lessons later, I soloed without a nervous bone in my body. What happened?

I truly believe GWW is what mainly happened. Yes, I had a different CFI with a different perspective to help me. I was able to fly more consistently, but I also needed a change within myself to be able to achieve this accomplishment. GWW sparked that change because it wasn't only winning that happened, but joining this community that was great for me. I befriended other winners and past winners, I had their support and saw their training progress as well. That made a huge difference. I saw other ladies with their struggles and successes, to share frustrations and joys with them. It helped me overcome my own struggles in confidence seeing these other ladies rocking their training.

I want every girl in her training to have this wonderful support system. I know everyone can't win a scholarship and gain confidence through that, but I hope through generous donations that more ladies can get such an amazing opportunity. I wish I had the money to give more and allow more girls to win a scholarship. I do know that other ladies in flight training can join the great Girls With Wings Facebook Group that has helped me so much through training and get advice, support, comfort, or just others to talk with about airplanes!

A little support and being confident with your abilities can go a long way is what I learned in my flight training! I hope others can learn from such amazing ladies I've met through this organization and cannot wait to cheer on Amber, Caylee, Kathi, Kimberly, Diana, and others when they get their private pilot certificates! I know they'll rock their check rides! 

Caitlin's lessons have been funded in part by the generous donations that people have made to Girls With Wings. The Dreams Take Flight 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. Read more about our scholarship program.

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