Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dale, A Dreams Take Flight Scholarship Winner!

This is Dale's essay from her application. As an awardee of this scholarship, she has agreed to send us updates on her flight training, which will be posted here when they are received.

I have been in the recreation and nonprofit field, delivering recreation and leisure programs to communities throughout California for over forty years. I enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities. I have been active member in my Ninety-Nines Chapter since June 2, 2012, and have attended the Future Women Pilot activities; Chapter meetings, served on the set up and take down committee and helped with participant registration for Pilot Proficiency classes sponsored by the Chapter; participated in the Girl Scouts in Aviation Day; and collected votes for the Lightspeed Aviation Grant. I thoroughly enjoy conversing with other female pilots who understand and relate to my flying experiences and provide me with encouragement as I work toward my next milestone.

My ultimate goal in aviation/aerospace is to learn to fly and become proficient so I can fly for organizations such as Angel Flight, Pilots for Paws and Flying Under to Son to transport patients/pets and medical supplies. I intend to share my new interest in aviation with youth groups such as Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Club and Oxnard City Corps. I believe that it is tremendously important to not only to be a strong role model for young women, but to also give back in serving the community. This was ingrained throughout my childhood, and I intend to do the same with my passion for flying.

I have financed my flight training and education through my savings account. I had just enough money set aside last year to log the hours to qualify and receive the Ventura County 99’s Future Women’s Pilot Award for Light Sport Pilot last June. I had to stop just shy of soloing, as my funds were depleted. Since then, I have been meeting regularly with my mentor, and our sessions have covered topics such as: radio communications, airport operations and flight planning. I have also decided to pursue my Private Pilot License instead of a Light Sport Pilot. This process involved ten months gradually reducing a medication prescribed for menopause, neurological and psychological testing, physical exams and a 120 day waiting period as per the FAA. I am happy to report that my first milestone was securing my Medical Certificate 3rd Class and Student Pilot Certificate on February 12, 2014. I am studying for the FAA Private Pilot knowledge written exam, which I plan to take on May 3, 2014.

After working for over forty years, I suddenly found myself unemployed. I have been interviewing intensely statewide for a year and a half with many call-backs, and I expect to be re-employed in the near future. My salary was over $100,000; our annual household gross income has shrunk from $156,000 to $56,000. We did a home loan modification on our mortgage. I am now reaching out beyond the field for which I was trained, so that I can further support my family and flight training.

Now is an excellent time for me to pursue flying. I have the time, the health, and the stability to focus on the demands of training. Many of my sister Ninety-Nines have encouraged me to apply for this award, recognizing the importance of facilitating the continuity of my training. I believe the GWW/Rick Dahl Memorial Dreams Take Flight Award fits my circumstances. When I have found new employment, I’ll definitely have more money, but I’ll surely have less time to devote to flight training.

GWW/Rick Dahl Memorial Dreams Take Flight Award will help me achieve new flight goals, and embark on a new life journey in the Girls With Wings and the 99’s. With my experience in recreation management, I will continue to help the GWW and my 99’s Chapter inspire young adults to appreciate the aviation world through the variety of programs that the organizations provide. I will continue to speak with youth groups (Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Club, and City Corps) and school classes to interest students in aviation fields, to inspire them to fly, or simply be supportive of general aviation in the years ahead. I have already organized and implemented many special events to raise funds and awareness for various causes and will apply these skills to do the same for GWW and my 99 Chapter.

I have the drive, the passion and the perseverance to achieve my Private Pilot license. With the help of the Girls With Wings/Rick Dahl Memorial Dreams Take Flight Scholarship Award, I’ll be able to continue my flight training and become a proud fully-fledged Private Pilot.

The Girls With Wings 2014 Scholarship Program includes the Dreams Take Flight Scholarship, designed to introduce the world of aviation to someone who would benefit from experiencing the joy of flight. 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 of $500.00, funded by the generous donations from supporters of Girls With Wings, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

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