With your help the people of West Africa have "a chance, not only to change their own lives and their own destinies, but to change the future of an entire generation".

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Good Girls don't fly.....

Whilst at Oshkosh last year I made contact with Captain Yaw and Patricia Mawuli, and have had several Skype conversations with them since. I have been sharing my ‘Think Global Flight initiative’, and they have been sharing their vision of Aviation as a tool for development in West Africa. It soon became clear that I, Captain Judy, and the operations at Kpong Airfield, WAASPS, Medicine on the Move and the AvTech Academy, shared a common mission – and that if we could weave some threads together, it would make for a strong partnership.

Let me share with you some of my background, and let us share a common journey, one that will change lives and provide sustainable solutions wherever we are in the world…

When I was young I was told “You are a girl. Good girls do not fly.”

You might be thinking that everyone that lives in America has the opportunity to fly, or has the opportunity to become what they want when they grow up. Yes and No. Sometimes, it does not matter what country someone lives in, dreams are not understood. Especially if these dreams are thought to be only for certain types of people, like those with money or a particular gender, or color.

Although many of you reading this may live in West Africa, and I live thousands of miles from you in America, I understand that working toward a dream sometimes seem so hard that, at times, you may find that pursuit very challenging. That is why I want to share my dream with you over the next few months in these blogs. This is my first blog, and there will be many more … and one day I plan to come to Ghana and work with the young women of Kpong, sharing our dreams and helping each other make those dreams come true!

Captain Judy’s Most eXcellent Adventures, Part I

I dreamt of flying ever since I can remember. However, my dreams were kept to myself because “Good girls don’t fly.”

Instead I became a teacher for those students that had difficult time learning. I also had a family.

My dream became reality in 1997 when I earned my private pilot license. At the same time I discovered the power of aviation with my students. Some students didn’t like certain subjects, such as math or science. I would take these subjects and create airplane questions that made it more interesting for the students.

This is when I knew my mission in life was to inspire people to work toward their dreams.

While I was teaching, and working toward my private pilot rating, I started many aviation clubs for young people at airports. Similar to the one you are now attending. One of my first clubs was at the flight school where I was learning to fly. My flight instructor, Fred Nauer, was my assistant. One of the other aviation clubs was located where two brothers were starting an aircraft factory, it became known as Cirrus Aircraft.

These aviation clubs became well-known. I then realized that I had to dedicate my energies fulltime to my mission, inspiring people to work toward their dreams. Therefore, I had to leave my teaching position at the school. This was a difficult decision because I love teaching, but at the same time I knew that I must in order to accomplish my life’s mission. I must, somehow, reach across the globe helping people understand that they can reach their dreams.

It was not long after I started this new career when I worked for the Experimental Aircraft Company, most known as Oshkosh Airshow or AirVenture. AirVenture is the world’s largest general aviation airshow. I became good friends with many of the well-known aviation pilots, one was Dick Rutan. Dick and Jeana Yeager made history in 1986 by flying non-stop around the world in the Voyager. Dick said to me one day, “If you really want to inspire kids, you should fly around the world.” YES, this was the answer on how I could fulfill my mission, reaching across the globe inspiring others to work toward their dreams.

(My Skype conversations with the girls at Kpong are a part of that dream!)

I knew that I must prepare for this incredible adventure. I needed to have much more flying experience and knowledge. I also had an immense amount of logistics to understand and then accomplish.

In April 2014, my next big adventure begins, flying around the world – meeting new people and inspiring others to ‘dream big’. My first flight instructor will be my navigator on this adventure and, who better to trust in that role than the person that helped you earn your wings?! You can read more about my plans at www.thinkglobalflight.org

Check in regularly to this blog site for more of …. My Most eXcellent adventures …

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