Every year, Women in Aviation International (WIAI) gives 103 scholarships to girls that have been in the club as of 1 Nov. 2017. These scholarships can have a collective worth of around $600,000.
WIAI Board President Dr. Peggy Chabrian thinks the scholarships are going to make college more affordable for members.
“These scholarships are so important to our members seeking flight training opportunities in order to advance their careers,” said Chabrian on the WIAI website. “For the fortunate members who are awarded a scholarship, an aviation career becomes much more affordable.”
In order to be eligible for this scholarship, the applicants must be current members of the club until Mar. 2018. The applicant must complete and submit the application, two single pages of recommendation letters, a 500 word essay, a resume, and any other applicable information as requested for each specific award, grant, or scholarship.
“Scholarship applications must be signed and postmarked by Monday, 13 Nov. 2017,” according to the WIAI website.
Aside from being eligible for the scholarship, WIAI members have various opportunities such as volunteering, getting homework help, learning about different careers, and getting women interested in aviation and engineering. RAHS physics teacher and the new advisor for the club Dona Bien-Aime is excited to help advise the club.
“I’m looking forward to getting women interested in not only aviation but also in engineering in general,” said Bien-Aime, “because I also feel like women are underrepresented in the technical field.”
Bien-Aime has a vision to make this possible for the girls in WIAI while still keeping the STEM part of it in touch and making sure that there is equality within the school.
“Men should want more women in technology so they can bring their expertise and time management,” said Bien-Aime. “Not only that but also attention to detail and analytical skills. I can see that from my [own] and from my wife’s perspective that we want more balance within the STEM industry and having more women involved will help that.”
RAHS WIAI President Olivia Gibson has a plan to keep the girls interested by using scholarships and fundraising.
“We probably are going to start fundraising this year but we might not because we already do have a lot [of money] because we were going to go to the WIAI conference last year,” said Gibson. “[However going to the conference] didn’t pass through [the board] and we still have some funding so it depends on how we spend the money and what we decide to do.”
Gibson looks forward to the various activities that will bring the girls closer together as a community and giving them opportunities to meet women in the STEM field.
“What I hope to do this year is [to] really bring our community [of women] together because last year not a lot of women joined,” said Gibson. “Our main purpose and goal was very muddled. This year I want to make our goal more concise. I want to have people come and speak to us and I want us to discover job opportunities, and for the club to do more community service.”
The RAHS Women in Aviation Club highly encourages all of the female students to attend the club meetings, apply for the scholarship, and most of all, have fun!