Aviation for Women

JAN-FEB 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

Issue link: https://afwdigital.epubxp.com/i/915381

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J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 AviationforWomen 39 Little Girl With a Big Wrench C H E L S E A R . S M I T H As a WAI member I always look forward to re- ceiving my next magazine. The women featured in these articles are so inspirational. Some sto- ries were lived 30, 40, 50 years ago, while others are unfolding right at this very moment. What keeps us tur ning the page and reaching for more is the simple fact that we can all relate. We all share the bond of aviation—a special kind of grit that got us here—and the same empower- ing determination to continue to move forward. We find ourselves in these stories, ref lecting on what got us involved in aviation, dreaming of the possibilities beyond the horizon. I would like to thank all of the editors of WAI and all of the women who not only share their stories but also live them. They continue to open doors and raise the bar for women. What makes me most proud is being one of them. I'm 21 years old completing my last semester of A&P school in Louisville, Kentucky. I will continue my edu- cation at Eastern Kentucky University to earn a bachelors degree in aerospace technology. A viation has always been one of my great- est inspirations. I went from being a little girl on my dad's shoulders at air shows, to a young lady in the cockpit beginning flight lessons, and now a young woman passion- ately pursuing a career in aviation. I'm always ea- ger to learn more and become more involved. Whether I was on the ground staring up, in the cockpit staring down, or even removing cowling to begin inspections and maintenance, every aspect of aviation has been so fascinating. I don't want to be a quota. I don't want to be given extra credit or extra criticism. I don't want to be on one side of a gender divide, and I don't want to be labeled. I want to earn a title, a certif- icate, and a degree that took time, courage, and lots of determination. There are three things that get your wheels off the runway—the air beneath your wings, the pi- lot in the front seat, and the mechanic under the cowling. They are all equally important and de- pend on each other. I believe there are also three things that pave the pathway to success: drive, passion, and inspi- ration. You can't force someone to love something; you can only hope to inspire him or her. These in- spirations spark passion in our imagination, and we begin to dream. But our dreams only take us so far, then comes drive. When we are inspired and put passion behind our drive, we can succeed and continue to inspire others. This is what I have found in aviation, and nothing makes me more ex- cited than looking toward the future. ✈ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chelsea R. Smith, WAI 72253, is a student at the Jefferson Community and Technical College studying aviation maintenance and will continue her education at Eastern Kentucky University. I don't want to be a quota. I don't want to be given extra credit or extra criticism. M A I N T E N A N C E V I E W

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