Aviation for Girls


Aviation for Girls is a special annual member publication of Women in Aviation International for Girls in Aviation Day. Articles feature young girls living their aviation dreams, career ideas, and education resources.

Issue link: https://afgdigital.epubxp.com/i/1018241

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Page 15 of 39

O ne of the most incredible aspects of aviation is that everyone first discov- ers it in their own unique way—some- times by accident! When I was 13 years old, I read about Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in a short magazine article similar to this one. Despite having zero prior knowledge of aviation or the military, I joined the orga- nization on a whim. CAP is the volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. As a cadet, I've had the opportunity to learn more about aerospace and develop myself as a leader, all while exploring both military and civilian careers in aviation. Thanks to CAP, I was able to take my first flight ever in one of our Cessna 172s, and fly solo in the same aircraft just a few years lat- er when I was old enough. This past year, I earned the Carl A. Spaatz Award, the cadet program's top achievement, and became a cadet colonel. CAP enabled me to combine my passions for aviation and writing in my role as a public affairs officer. I currently serve on our national staff and use social media to share the stories of our hardwork- ing volunteers across the nation. Throughout my five years in the cadet program, I've been able to travel all over the United States, and even the world, spending this summer in Australia on the Internation- al Air Cadet Exchange. From marshaling war- birds at one of the world's largest air shows in Wisconsin, called EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, to flying CAP's hot air balloons in New Mexi- co and Illinois, to speaking with members of Congress in Washington, D.C., it's been quite a journey! I've made plenty of remarkable new friends and mentors along the way. A vital lesson I learned in CAP is that there is more to aviation than just being a pilot. While I do enjoy flying as a hobby, I don't envision myself pursuing a career as a pilot right away. However, through CAP I discovered myriad other roles in this world of flight, including my dream job as an aircraft dispatcher. CAP is ultimately what introduced me to aviation and its lively community. With CAP's emergency services mission, I have the ability to give back to this community if natural disasters strike, and learn first- hand about search and rescue operations in the event of a downed aircraft. CAP members are living proof that aviation thrives on volunteerism, and that every- one has something to contribute. YOUR CORNER A vital lesson I learned in CAP is that there is more to aviation than just being a pilot. What's the Civil Air Patrol? by Jodie Gawthrop, WAI 65230 14

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