Sunday, April 27, 2014

Jamie, A Dreams Take Flight / Rick Dahl Scholarship Winner!

This is Jamie'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 am aware of the decline in the aviation industry, especially the desire of women pursuing aviation as a career path. The Aviation Education Foundation of Colorado (AEFCO) has aided me with the specific training necessary, pin-pointed to my needs as a student; and they have provided a solid foundation to guide me in pursuing a career as a Fighter Pilot. My flight instructor, Hank Bartlett, has dedicated so much of his time into setting up the plane and preparing lessons specific to me so that I can fly easier and obtain my private pilot’s license before I apply to the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy. If having the honor of being selected to an extremely selective college [...], I plan to advance to jet training and also study forensic sciences (forensic anthropology and blood spatter analogy). However, my interests as a fighter pilot are/ and always will be my primary goal. There are no words to describe the feeling I get when I fly. Only people who have flown can comprehend the thrill, adventure and sense of accomplishment that goes along with flying.

My inspiration to become a fighter pilot came when I watched Thunderbirds fly over me as I was heading to an Air Force football game. It might sound childish, but for a 10 year old, those fast, loud, and incredibly beautiful planes were irresistible. They still are!!! When I joined JROTC, I started learning more about the history of aviation and the aerospace sciences.

I continue to create learning experiences and memories every time I fly. Flying is my passion and I love doing it every chance I get. I have roughly 7 hours of logged flight time, but that is over a span of a couple months. Right now, money is tight. My Mom is a single mom who is battling a terminal illness and is constantly in and out of the hospital. With my mom being sick, we have many financial restraints. However, any and all money goes towards my flight training, as that is a priority. I am only 16 years old, but I do work every day after school and 100% of my paycheck also go towards my flight training. If at all possible, my Mom works her treatments and long hospital stays around my flight school and training. This scholarship would give me the boost I need to further my aviation career and get me to solo even faster. The benefits, for me specifically, for soloing and obtaining my private pilot’s license sooner is to gain favor on my resume when applying for the Air Force Academy and Naval Academy this August.

In school, I maintain a 3.78 GPA and I take honors classes. I have also had the greatest honor participating in JROTC. I have recently been promoted to Cadet Master Sergeant, which is only given out to the top 3% in our class. I take immense pride in my academics and achievements. In addition, I actively volunteer in my community. One of the places I volunteer is with the Colorado Springs Teen Court using positive power of peer influence to stop criminal behavior at the earliest stage using the concepts of Restorative Justice. By serving on their Peer Panels, I question both the defendant and the defendant's parent/guardian individually before deliberating on an appropriate sentence. I also volunteer at middle school events, sports games (high school and middle school), elementary school carnivals, blood drives and Young Eagles flights. This year I have volunteered over 150 hours!

I am a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and member of JROTC Kitty Hawk Air Society (JROTC National Honor Society.) Furthermore, I am in several extra-curricular activities including the Girls Tennis Team and in JROTC’s Rocketry Club. As a senior, I plan to participate in Cheer, Tennis, and Rocketry Club. Last summer, I competed for (and won) a scholarship to go to the Leadership Laboratory Activity at the Air Force Academy’s Preparatory School. That was the most amazing experience I have had in JROTC. I learned so many things and had so much fun, I wish my entire life was a replica of the week I spent there (plus flying time of course!) In addition to my adventures at the Preparatory School, I was selected to be a High School counselor at High Trails where I mentored sixth graders and taught them about the Sioux Indians that once lived in that area. As you can see, I have leadership skills and capabilities beyond those of the average 16 year old.

Girls with Wings is an amazing foundation and I would be honored to help inspire other girls pursue their dreams. I have a servant’s heart by nature and I know that being part of your foundation would allow me to be a positive role model for other girls. As I succeed in fulfilling my career goals, Girls with Wings would provide the opportunity of sharing my journey with others girls/women who share my same interests. I would make myself available through email for any questions, concerns or moral support that other young aviators like myself might need. One piece of advice that I would share with every girl (or boy for that matter) is that if flying is truly your passion, that passion it is larger than any sum of money. Do not let finances hinder or discourage you. Make yourself known and get out there and do what you love! I would be thrilled to spread the word of encouragement to other girls who are in the same boat as me financially.

I appreciate your consideration for the scholarship opportunities that your program offers.
Jamie Daino

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 in the memory of Rick Dahl, an aviation buff who greatly supported women’s achievement in the aviation field.


  1. Jamie Daino9:31 PM

    It was an amazing surprise waking up and receiving a scholarship from Jen Jordan and Girls With Wings. I wanted to personally thank you by saying how truly humbled I am by you choosing to award me with the Rick Dahl scholarship. Thank you for memorializing his support of women aviators by helping me reach my goals, passions, desires, and dreams. Your generous support and faith in my success means the world to me and further fuels my desires and passion for flying. As you read in my essay, there are many financial restrictions in my family and no words can describe how grateful I (and my mom) are for this opportunity to allow me to fly more often. I look forward to blogging and emailing frequently to keep you updated with my accomplishments. If it weren't for generous people like you and organizations; such as Girls With Wings, that support women in aviation, my dreams for flight might not be possible.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  2. Doreen Daino9:44 PM

    Words can't express my graditude to Jen Jordan and Girls with Wings for awarding my daughter with A Dreams Take Flight/ Rick Dahl scholarship! Jamie LOVES to fly. As her mother, it is such an awesome experience to watch her get closer and closer to becoming a pilot. I've never seen her happier than when she is flying. Thank you for making her dreams come true!

  3. On Saturday, the 17th, I got the opportunity to fly around Colorado Springs Airport. I did 6 touch and goes. It was amazing!!!!! I experienced radio calls, papi lights and clouds. Learning about these things in books is one thing, but doing it in person is incredible! I am so fortunate to have gone over to the Springs Airport and fly with C130's and military aircraft. It was amazing!!!

  4. Jen Jordan6:21 PM

    I am so happy to hear you got to fly! What a great day. :) Best of luck to you, and I can't wait to hear updates on your progress!

  5. Hi Lynda, I wanted to ask you how you selected the flight training school to do your flying with? My team and I have done a lot of research over the past years as we read a lot about the pilot shortage and thought that there wasn't a good online source where individuals who wanted to become pilots could go to for them to see all the available Pilot Schools and funding options. With this in mind we created our website, which features over 200 Pilot training schools in the Asia Pacific region. It would be great to hear your thoughts on it. Thank you in advance.