"Wishing you well, Shaesta and Jill, as you reach new heights in aviation and in inspiring and empowering women, girls and all youth around the globe!"
"God is love, and Jill and Shaesta, you are his heart and hands extended to these children. Thank you for making their dreams become a reality! 💖"
Just a small donation will go a long way to helping me meet my goal for Dreams Soar - no amount is too small!
I have been in love with Aviation since I was 13 years old and went up in a small Cessna aircraft with a friend of my father's. I was immediately hooked and went on to obtain my Private Pilot License at age 17. I didn't really know how to make Aviation a career, though, mainly because I had no female role models… no one to look up to… no one to help me reach my goals. And it's no wonder, since women are such a tiny percentage of the aviation profession.
Only 6% of licensed pilots in the world are women. Only 16% of air traffic controllers in the world are women. Only 13% of aerospace engineers are women. One of the reasons for this is lack of female role models, but the other is the reluctance of young girls to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and pursue STEM fields.
Dreams Soar's mission is to inspire the next generation to pursue STEM and aviation education and careers. Shaesta Waiz, Dreams Soar Founder, President and Pilot, was born in a refugee camp in Afghanistan and fled with her family to the U.S. when she was just under a year old. Shaesta was raised in Richmond, California and attended school in an underprivileged district, where substitute teachers and sharing textbooks was the norm. One of six sisters, she discovered the world of aviation when she was a teenager, which then changed the course of her life! Shaesta was the first in her family to obtain a bachelor's and master's degree, which she did at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She is the first female certified civilian pilot from Afghanistan and now holds a Commercial rating. Shaesta founded Dreams Soar in 2014 to inspire the next generation of STEM and Aviation professionals, and to start a scholarship program to help young girls all over the world who don't have easy access to STEM education.
Shaesta was the pilot for our first program, the Dreams Soar Solo Global Flight for STEM. She launched her round-the-world journey on May 13, 2017, from Daytona Beach, Florida, flying a Beechcraft Bonanza A36 single-engine aircraft. Shaesta spent 4.5 months flying around the globe solo, inspiring over 3,000 young girls and boys to work hard and follow their dreams. She flew almost 25,000 nautical miles across five continents, visited 22 countries and held 32 Outreach events. Her Global Flight concluded on October 4th with her landing back at Daytona Beach International Airport, making her the youngest woman in history to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine aircraft.
Dreams Soar is more than just our pilot and more than just this first program. We have a Dream Team of collegiate students and young professionals working to fulfill our mission, all with an extraordinary passion for STEM and Aviation. Backed by a Board of Directors and Advisory Council of seasoned professionals, Dreams Soar, Inc. will continue to provide awareness of career opportunities and is establishing scholarships for students around the world needing support to pursue STEM and aviation-related fields of study.
I am proud to be a member of the Dreams Soar Advisory Council, filling the role of Global Outreach & Logistics Coordinator. I led the planning of all 32 Outreach events around the world and handled ground and flight logistics for Shaesta throughout her journey. I was able to attend Outreach events in two cities, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Washington DC, and I can tell you first-hand that the excitement level for Shaesta to inspire young people across the globe is enormous! I wish I had someone like Shaesta to inspire, encourage and empower me when I was growing up. The impact she has already had, and will continue to have in the future, has the potential to change the world.
Dreams Soar has a large financial goal to reach to operate our 501(c)3 organization, to continue our Outreach mission, and to fund our Scholarship program. This is a rare opportunity for all of us to join Shaesta and the Dreams Soar organization in making real positive change in the world. Your gift is tax deductible.
Please note that your company may match your gift 1:1, 2:1, or 3:1. This is an opportunity to double or even triple your charitable contribution to Dreams Soar! Once you make your gift, let your Human Resources department know about your donation. They will direct you to complete a matching form to confirm your gift, and their company match will come directly to Dreams Soar.
Helping Dreams Soar!