Although I am a first-generation aviator in my family, I took a lot of inspiration from my grandfather who was an aerospace engineer at Northrop Grumman, working on the F14, E2C, and even the lunar module. As a child, he would make me the farthest flying paper airplanes I have ever seen and would show me the intricate models of the planes that he built. Between my grandfather, flying on airliners, and going to airshows as a kid, I was bitten by the flying bug even before “taking the yoke” of an airplane. I took my first discovery flight at the youthful age of 17 in a 1972 Cessna 172 Skyhawk and at this moment I realized flying would be what I’d do for the rest of my life. I immediately began taking lessons towards my private pilot license. My flight instructor kept going on and on about how my sister could get one of the female scholarships to get her license, so in spite I sought out to find one that I could apply for. A few months later, I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from the Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association (AOPA) which funded the majority of my license and enabled me to eliminate the major stress element of flying: cost. There are so many scholarships available for aspiring aviators of all ages and I highly encourage people to apply to them. Just like for many people, life got in the way and I was forced to take a break from flying to focus on college. It was through this break that I realized how much I needed to be in the air. While studying at college, I constantly found myself drifting off thinking about flying. After my freshman year in college, I set a goal to finish my PPL by the end of the summer. In August of 2019, the day before leaving for Africa for 3 months, I got my license. Since then, I have been enjoying the benefits of having a license. From flying for $100 BBQ (usually the Pik n’ Pig) to flying for vacation. Aviation provides endless opportunities for adventure. Just when I thought flying could not get more rewarding, I started instrument training. I am in the middle of my instrument rating and intend to finish this summer during my internship at Textron Aviation! Since moving to Kansas for my job at Textron, I am now adapting to an entirely new airspace and flying environment which is a new adventure in and of itself. After I complete my degree in mechanical engineering in 2022 from NC State, I plan to continue my pilot training either through Air Force/Navy or regular flight school.