Hello All! Cassandra here. As many of you know, I am a FAA licensed pilot who enjoys soaring the skies in all kinds of antique and modern airplanes. The road to achieving my dream to become a licensed private pilot was not an easy one though, I must admit. The biggest hurdle that most aspiring pilots face is the cost of training. I was one of them! Hence, the need for scholarships and grant money…
I decided to achieve my dream to fly shortly after I graduated from Uni and had entered the workforce as a young professional. Aviation schools will inform you to anticipate spending between $10-$15k on your flight lessons to earn your license depending on your time, your commitment and how much cash flow you have. Being a young professional making her way out in the white-collared financial industry, I wasn’t strapped for cash, but I didn’t have money flowing freely through my hands either. I knew that in order to earn my license I would need to seek scholarships and grants.
Like the financial industry, I found the aviation industry to be male-dominant. Seeking female camaraderie, I decided to join The Ninety-Nintes, Inc., International Organization of Women Pilots -founded in 1929 by Amelia Earhart and 98 other licensed female pilots. I joined the Ninety-Nines Colorado Chapter and quickly delved into the chapter’s meetings and fun aviation activities. It was through my fellow 99s sisters that I discovered the large number of scholarship opportunities through both the main international chapter, as well as through Women in Aviation, International -another wonderful female-pilot organization.
My 99s sisters prompted me to apply for the Amelia Earhart FLY NOW Scholarship that would help cover my flight lessons and take the final FAA pilot licensure multi-day examination. I was amazed when I found out that I won! I was given a mentor, Stephanie Wells. (Who is a kick-ass pilot in her own right.) She was my cheerleader along with Shaun and my family in supporting me as I worked to earn my license.
So, for the young ladies out there with big dreams to become helicopter and airplane pilots: don’t let the $$$ stop you. Seek out The Ninety-Nines or Women in Aviation. They are great support networks for aspiring female pilots such as yourselves, as well as for providing scholarships. Above all, know that you can always reach out to me for advice, as well.
See you in the friendly skies,