"Shaesta, I am already looking forward to the dreams and goals you will accomplish after this remarkable achievement. God bless!"
"Inspiring a generation of young girls around the world - You're Flying High Shaesta! "
What are YOU waiting for? This is a rare opportunity for all of us to truly create and support something very special.
Not everyone gets an opportunity to be a hero in life. Yet, in 1925, one very special aviation hero was born. Born November 1925, Jerry Mock became the first woman ever to flight solo around the world, and first to fly solo in a single engine aircraft. Her journey began March 19, 1964 and returned after 29 days, 21 stops, almost 23,000 miles on April 17, 1964. Three-Eight Charlie, or as most know her Cessna 180 as the' Spirit of Columbus,' is the motivation behind a journey called Dreams Soar, launching spring 2017. Jerry Mock is a hero to Shaesta Waiz.
Shaesta Waiz, the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan, will embark on the Dreams Soar: Global Solo Flight for STEM that will launch spring 2017. Born in a refugee camp in Afghanistan 29 years ago, Waiz fled with her family to the U.S. when she was just a year old and raised in Richmond California. Once of six sisters, she later found aviation, which then turned her life around.
Through a global solo flight, Dreams Soar's mission is to inspire the next generation to pursue STEM and aviation education, globally. Why STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)? Why a global solo flight? For years, our industry has worked to impact more women to choose education around these degree fields, to rise to the challenge and help grow the numbers of women in these areas of interest. U.S. STEM jobs are anticipated to increase by 17% over the next decade. Only 24% of STEM professionals in the U.S. are female and these women earn 33% more, on average. Pilot related, only 450 women worldwide are airline pilots, enough to fill an Airbus 380. That's less than 1% of the total pilots globally with only 6% as general aviation pilots.
Similar to her hero, Jerry Mock, Waiz will pilot the single-engine A36 Bonanza, specially-equipped for a 90-day solo global flight mission to 30 stops on five continents in 18 countries, more than 25,000 miles flown! A footprint that will help Dreams Soar engage more than 20,000 young women, and men, to pursue education and careers in STEM and aviation. 18 outreach events will take place throughout the global flight.
Dreams Soar is more than just the pilot. There is a 20-member Dream Team of graduate and undergraduate students working to fulfill planning of this mission with expertise and skillsets that span across Homeland Security, Meteorology, Marketing Strategies, Social Media Campaigns, Corporate/Industry Partnerships, Aircraft Maintenance, Project Management, Engineering, among others. Backed by an Advisory Council of seasoned STEM and aviation professionals, these members have established Dreams Soar, Inc. as a 501 C 3 nonprofit. The organization, post global flight, will continue to provide awareness of the career opportunities and will establish scholarships to students across the globe needing support in STEM and aviation-related fields of study.