EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

 for Thu, July 31, 2008

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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 5 July 31, 2008     

Women Soar: Amazing women, amazing time
By Sarah Benish
Jessica O’Connor of Pueblo West, Colorado, makes a wing rib during Women Soar. Photo by Sarah Benish
Kaitlin Husnick, of Oshkosh, enjoys ice cream for breakfast during Women Soar. Photo by Sarah Benish

"Never take ‘no’ for an answer." "If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again." "Do something you’re passionate about." Many of these popular sayings were repeated at Women Soar, a program for female high school students that introduces them to aviation careers and inspires them to expand their potential. This year about 80 girls and 25 mentors participated in Women Soar, which occurred the first two days of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Women Soar not only helps students learn more about aviation, but it also helps them learn more about themselves and the people around them who are always willing to help.

At Women Soar, you meet some amazing women, including the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), Jill Long (a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force), Debby Rihn-Harvey (a top aerobatic pilot and captain for Southwest Airlines), Brig. Gen. Janet Therianos (the director of intelligence air mobility command for Scott Air Force Base in Illinois) and others. Girls and mentors came from all over the United States and it was fun to meet girls from places like Texas and Illinois.

During the program, we participated in activities like assembling wing ribs, operating flight simulators, viewing the air show, participating in a low ropes challenge course, viewing a planetarium show, discussing careers in mentor workshops, learning skills in forums and workshops, and even enjoying a concert by the band Foreigner.

I really enjoyed the wing rib assembly because it was a hands-on activity that will be a useful skill in the future. I also really liked watching the air show and just talking to the mentors. Everyone there is so willing to help everyone and they just want everyone to be successful and happy in life.

This year was different because we slept and ate meals at the UW-Oshkosh campus. Unfortunately, there were only about eight showers and a few sinks and toilets for 80-plus females, which proved interesting, but it was all fun. Eating on campus was exciting and allowed us to eat things we wouldn’t normally eat, like ice cream for breakfast. Staying at UWO together brought all the girls closer and I think everyone had fun.

I highly recommend that you attend Women Soar next year if you’re in grades 9-12 grade. Even if you aren’t interested in aviation and just want to meet some fascinating women, the event is worth your time and energy.

This was my third year and I always find each program rewarding, especially the "pearls of wisdom" mentors gave us, including: No matter what, be true to yourself. Your personal values and ethics are your professional values and ethics. Honesty, treating others with dignity and respect, and always doing the best job possible…that is the golden rule—it allows me to look at myself in the mirror each morning and ‘like me’ for who I am.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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