Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lisa, A Private Pilot Scholarship Winner!

This is Lisa'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.

Thirty five years ago, I was offered a flight in my friend’s Aeronca Chief. From the very first flight, I loved every moment of the experience: the sights and the feelings. We even did some aerobatics. I climbed out of the plane with a huge smile on my face; I was hooked. A few years later I had the opportunity to join a flying club at the Savings and Loan where I worked. I had a wonderful time learning to fly. It was a big confidence builder and an all-around good experience. I was ready to take my check ride when I ran out of money and had to put flying on the back burner. In the decades since, I have raised a son, built my successful finance business, survived breast cancer and bought my own home. Now it is time to fly again. At the beginning of September, I began flying lessons with Judy Phelps at CP Aviation in Santa Paula, California. I soloed in January. As a single woman/mom, finances are tight but I am determined to make room in my budget for flying. I have financed my training with savings so far but I will need to budget carefully to complete my primary training. Once I obtain my Private Pilot Certificate I plan to get my tailwheel endorsement. I would like to do Emergency Maneuver Training, as well, if my finances allow, to improve my skills. The Girls with Wings Scholarship will allow me to speed up the process and get me started on the next phase, allowing me more time to volunteer in the aviation community.

I am a member of AOPA and I joined the Ninety-Nines as soon as my student pilot certificate was issued. I plan to continue my active participation in the aviation community, through the Girls with Wings Program and the Young Eagles program because I am interested in encouraging young women to pursue aviation. Throughout my life, I have volunteered and held leadership positions with a number of educational, environmental, art and community non-profit organizations. I enjoy participating in the aviation programs and activities. I am a member of the Continent Luscombe Association and have been asked to join their board for a 3 year term beginning this May. I have joined the Ventura County Ninety-Nines “Big Sister” mentor program planning committee.

I enjoy the sense of community in aviation, at the fly-ins and the small airports. This year I went to the Luscombe Fly-in, the Piper Cub Fly-in and a couple of airshows and Ninety-Nine events. I have met many wonderful aviators, both professional pilots and private pilots at these events. They have all been so giving of their time and willing to share their knowledge and love of aviation. Many volunteer their time to aviation organizations such as the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Ninety-Nines and the Young Eagles Program. These pilots are an inspiration to me. Their encouragement has shown me just how important it is to have the support of other pilots to realize success in the pursuit of a pilot’s license. I want to learn to fly, not only for the sheer enjoyment of flying but also to share my love of aviation by encouraging others, especially women, to fly. I have a special interest in education and plan to focus my volunteer efforts in that direction.

I am confident that my experience in small business administration and finance, along with my enthusiasm and proven leadership skills will be an asset to my volunteer career in the aviation community.

The Girls With Wings 2014 Scholarship Program includes the Private Pilot Scholarship, to help defray the cost of flight training lessons in pursuit of a private pilot certificate. This scholarship targets those individuals who have soloed but have not completed the Private Pilot Course.  The Private Pilot Scholarship is in the amount of $1000.00, funded by the generous donations from supporters of Girls With Wings, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

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