Friday's Fabulous Flyer
Dedication, commitment, and inspiration
will give you wings to fly!
I know you will enjoy reading Sarah's amazing story, as much as I did.... so enjoy!
"Hello, My name is Sarah Eberwein and I was born December 22, 1987 on the Northwest side of Chicago. I was the second child born into our average, middle-class family with hardworking parents. I have a very close relationship with my older sister, younger sister, and little brother, and have a tight bond with my extended family as well. My mother was the primary caregiver as we were growing up, and in between raising four children she would work part-time or full-time positions, depending upon the needs of her children at the time. My father works for the City of Chicago as an electrician at O’Hare International Airport. His career began as a city dump truck driver who was trying to get through electrical apprentice school while starting to build a family.
Witnessing firsthand, at a very young age, how hard work and perseverance can shape your future has laid the foundation for my own work ethic and aspirations. My experiences growing up have opened my eyes to new possibilities while my parents’ encouragement allowed me to develop a life-long passion. They instilled in me the tools that I need to reach for and achieve my dreams and for that, I will forever be grateful.
My first exposure to the aviation industry happened at O’Hare when my father would bring my siblings and I to take your children to work day. I remember feeling so incredibly small, not only because I was a petite 8 year old, but because there was always so much going on within the 11 sq. miles at the airport. The only way I could describe my experience to others was that it felt like a miniature city within a city. At the time, ORD was the world’s busiest airport and it truly felt that way to small, ambitious young girl.
Our day at ORD typically involved driving around the electrical carts in the shop and visiting other departments to see how the various roles kept the airport running smoothly. Most of the children’s favorite moment was watching the big yellow ARFF trucks race down the apron and put out a blazing fire on the mockup aircraft. But that wasn’t the encounter that stood out to me. I remember vividly during one of those visits there was a lecture and we listened to a female Captain from American Airlines. She stated that when she was 16 years old, her parents told her that she could either get her driver’s license or private pilot’s license. She chose the latter and said that she never regretted that decision. After that, I remember casually telling my dad that it would be cool to fly. I realize now looking back that was the moment that my dreams really took flight.
I continued to cherish attending those take your children to work days until the unfortunate events that took place on September 11, 2001. I was in 8th grade at the time and once I got to school, we turned on the TV as we heard a plane had struck the World Trade Center. Shortly after that, our class watched live as the second plane hit. The entire class sat in silence as we watched the smoke billow out of the building and came to the stark realization that it was not an accident. That silence carried on for several days as aircraft were grounded nationwide. It was the most eerie feeling that I have ever experienced up until that moment in my life. Living and going to school underneath the flight paths of ORD had unwittingly made me accustomed to the noise. When the nation’s air traffic was grounded, the silence it created made a void that echoed with all the voices of those we lost on that fateful day.
Six months after 9/11, our class was suppose to go to Washington D.C. for our class trip. Many other schools chose to cancel their trips as there were still many concerns over air travel and many sites were closed to public tours. My grade school decided that we did not want to live in fear and chose to follow through on our plans to visit our nation’s capital before graduation. That trip marked my first flight ever on an airplane. I remember many classmates were anxious to fly but I felt this sense of sanguinity. I was ecstatic when my friend Scott offered to switch seats so I could have a window. I will never forget that feeling, looking out over the wing as the plane throttled up and soared into the clouds.
Four and a half years later, I was moving down to Southern Illinois University Carbondale to pursue my dream of becoming a pilot. During the fall of 2006, I became a member of the International Aviation Fraternity, Alpha Eta Rho. After three years, I decided to move back home to Chicago so I could study Air Traffic Control at Lewis University in Romeoville. Despite my heavy coursework, I still made the effort to focus on what I felt was important, which was growing the local Alpha Eta Rho chapter and helping fellow aviators achieve their dreams. I realize now that I wasn’t just supporting others’ ambitions, I was essentially escalating my passion for aviation and inspiring myself to continue chasing my own aspirations.
Before I knew it, I was graduating from Lewis with a double major in Air Traffic Control and Business Administration. A few months after graduation, I landed a job at a major airline where I now continuously learn new things about this intriguing industry. I started my career as a Pilot Training Scheduler and three short years later, I’m now a Flight Dispatcher. I had held several leadership positions in Alpha Eta Rho and helped guide many friends as they searched for their place within aviation. I love how unique our industry is because many start a career in one position but by retirement, they are on a completely different yet beautiful course.
The one thing all true aviators have in common is that no matter what path life takes them down, they will always be connected to the sky and their passion for aviation runs deep within. This underlying premise fortified many lasting friendships throughout college and I am so thankful that I can continue that through my work with The Hope 100 project and Burlas Aviation Inc. I look forward to seeing The Hope 100 project break the world endurance flight record while inspiring the uninspired to achieve their wildest dreams."
"Blue Skies & Tailwinds!"
Click on The Hope 100 to learn more