I have utterly no idea how my 7-year-old daughter, Charlotte, fell in love with airplanes. She doesn't come from a family of aviators and when she announced at 4-years-old that she was going to be a pilot, we figured it was just a passing idea. Three years later, Charlotte's dream of flying has not diminished one bit. She loves airplanes (her passion is commercial jets) and flight. She has her future all figured out, including at what age she will earn her pilot license. She wears her pilot costume all the time and loves being surrounded by airplanes. In fact, I jokingly say that her room looks like a Boeing hanger.
Up until very recently, Charlotte did not realize aviation was a male-dominated field. I had managed to find a very elusive female pilot Barbie for her after she noticed all of the flight-related Barbies were flight attendants. We had encouraged her to pursue her dreams, and her uncle surprised her with a ride in a Navion airplane for her birthday, in which she even got to take the yoke for awhile!!!
This summer, Charlotte was excited to attend a Blue Angels experience at our local museum of flight. Her first day at camp, a fellow camper (male) looked at her and said, "Why are you here? Girls can't fly airplanes." Charlotte came home crushed. I was shocked she had experienced discrimination at the tender age of 7. My husband and I spent time with her that night, convincing her that girls and women can most certainly fly planes. In my search to find examples of female aviators to prove to Charlotte that women do fly planes, my friend linked me to the Female Aviators Sticking Together Facebook page. On the F.A.S.T. page, we found example after example of strong women achieving their aviation dreams. It was exactly what Charlotte needed to see to boost her confidence. Female Aviators Sticking Together shows Charlotte that she can certainly be a pilot, and that her gender shouldn't influence her dreams of flight. We are so grateful to the F.A.S.T. organization for helping our girls realize their dreams!
Someday soon, Charlotte will soar!!!