How This JCPS School Encourages Aviation Careers For Girls

On Wednesday, @Shawnee Academy hosted a “Girls in Aviation Day” to teach students about aviation careers and school curriculum.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Wednesday, students from the Academy @ Shawnee had the chance to learn about careers in aviation by professionals working in the field.

The school invited pilots and other aviation professionals for “Girls in Aviation Day”, with the aim of involving young women in aviation careers.

According to Women in Aviation International, women make up approximately 30% of the aviation industry. Among the pilots, women represent only about 8%.

Stella Burton, an aircraft maintenance line engineer at UPS, said women make up only about 3% of aircraft maintenance staff.

“It was like I had blinkers on, just the thrill of being around the planes, fixing them and troubleshooting them, really helped me not to focus on the fact that I was the only woman there,” Burton said.

At Wednesday’s event, Burton demonstrated some of the work she does, letting students work with her hands.

“They light up and glow, you can see them thinking and the wheels turning and that’s really inspiring to me,” she said.

The students were able to meet mechanics, pilots and other women in aviation who led the way.

Ninth grade La’Nauvia Woodford is already considering a career in aircraft mechanics.

“I like to understand how it flies and soars, I want to know everything I can about an airplane,” she said.

Woodford said seeing other women at Wednesday’s event was inspiring.

“It empowers me, it makes me happy to know that there are other women who are interested in airplanes, whether it’s flying them or fixing them,” she said.

Academy @ Shawnee staff also wanted to encourage young women to get involved in their aviation journey, where students learn about the industry in a school setting.

“It’s really important for our girls in particular to see that there are people who look like them and come from the same places they came from to do these wonderful things,” executive director Kym Rice said.

Academy @ Shawnee is the only school in Kentucky with its own FAA-approved flight simulator and is the only school in JCPS to offer a career in Flight and Aeronautics.

Thanks to the school’s aeronautical course, students also have the opportunity to obtain their pilot’s license.

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