Dreams soar when girls pursue STEM and aviation education By Heather Schlichting, Media and Public Relations, Dreams Soar Inc. In many cases, little boys grow up wanting to be pilots, engineers and scientists. Because of the stereotypes that continue to shape attitudes about females who pursue math and science, little girls don’t easily gravitate to these types of careers and typically don’t have role models in these fields to emulate. Not surprisingly, according to Boeing and The International Society of Women Airline Pilots, only 6% of airline pilots worldwide are women. Educational institutions believe that a key solution to this shortage would be to introduce girls to successful females currently active in aviation-, math- or science-related roles. Capt. Shaesta Waiz, the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan, is on a mission through Dreams Soar, Inc. to empower the next generation of girls around the globe in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and aviation. With a large team behind her, Capt. Waiz aims to fly solo around the world in a single-engine airplane. A “Dream Team” of undergraduate and graduate students—the lifeblood of this program—apply their STEM and aviation education and talents towards building the foundation of the Dreams Soar initiative, which in turn will prepare them for their chosen career. With the goal of increasing the number of STEM and aviation professionals, ACI is partnering with Dreams Soar through the ACI member airports that are part of Capt. Waiz’s global route. “Through our collaboration with ACI, Dreams Soar intends to raise awareness about aviation to the next generation,” 54
said Lyndse Costabile, President of Dreams Soar’s Board of Directors. “Together, we can propel advances in the aviation industry and make an impact on women globally to pursue STEM-related careers.” Capt. Shaesta Waiz is expected to set off on her journey from Daytona Beach International Airport in Florida in a singleengine Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. The route will make 28 stops over 5 continents in 17 countries in approximately 90 days—a total of nearly 25,000 miles. The longest leg of the flight is from Hilo, Hawaii to El Cajon, California, 2,184 nautical miles over the Pacific Ocean. The launch date is being discussed by industry experts given the global weather patterns that may affect her flight. Of the 29 anticipated stops, many of them will be ACI member airports and ACI World will be communicating with each of these airports.
Capt. Shaesta Waiz, the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan, is on a mission through Dreams Soar, Inc. to empower the next generation of girls around the globe in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and aviation.
ACI World Report - September 2016