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Girls in Aviation: Minnesota Reservists encourage youngsters to consider career in the air

  • Published
  • By Maj. William Mojica

Several members of the 934th Airlift Wing, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station, Minnesota, recently participated in the 7th Annual Girls in Aviation Day event hosted by Women in Aviation International at the Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie.

After the 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participating in this year’s event was something the wing’s Reserve Citizen Airmen looked forward to.

“This was my third year participating in the event and my first year organizing volunteers on behalf of our wing,” said Master Sgt. Robert Lee, 934th Logistics Readiness Squadron acting first sergeant. “Having the opportunity to get other units involved presented a few challenges with COVID, but the benefits of being able to bring our members and have Air Force Reserve representation was great. I really want to increase our wing’s involvement moving forward for many reasons, including increasing our diversity and inclusion with future Airmen and professionals.”

GIAD is a free event for youth to learn about career opportunities in aviation and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

“The reason we put this on is because we want to introduce more girls to aviation as a career, a hobby, a love or an adventure,” said Stephanie Goetz, vice president of WAI Stars of the North. “The thing about why this is so important is that roughly only 6% of pilots are female, and we want to increase that number. It creates a diversity of thought and a diversity of perspective.”

In addition to traditional careers people think of with aviation, the 934th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron also had flight nurses available to speak to their role as medical aviators.

“I was honored to represent the AE community and share how we help our fellow service men and women and their families all over the world,” said 1st Lt. Myra Costello, 934th AES flight nurse. “I was thrilled with the response we received from the children and their families. As a first-time participant, it was also great to talk to other women in aviation and see the progress that has been made over the years.”

GIAD is aimed at encouraging female participation in STEM and aviation-related careers. Although the event is geared for girls ages 8-17, everyone is welcome to attend.

“It’s a fun event and watching the kids’ faces when answering their questions and seeing their inquisitiveness was incredible,” Lee said. #ReserveReform

(Mojica is assigned to the 934th Airlift Wing public affairs office.)