Lynda Meeks, founder and executive director of Girls With Wings, Inc., is inspiring girls to achieve their full potential through aviation, emphasizing STEM education.
The fun thing about life is that it can take you in directions that you’d never dreamed of—especially when a challenge is involved.
Lynda is a pilot, but she didn’t grow up wanting to fly. There were no pilots in her family, and as one of four siblings—one older, and two younger—she appears to have a little stubborn streak. All she knew was that her life had to include travel and adventure, plus she wanted a good salary. But for the loss of what that might be, she “flitted” around college taking a variety of courses trying to find her niche. Then one day she got a postcard, courtesy of the US Army, offering a summer filled with exciting activities such as rappelling.
Not having anything better to do she attended the ROTC course, and decided to try on a stint as an Army Officer, with plans of military intelligence in her future. As she filled out her “wish list” of desired fields, someone had mentioned that aviation was the toughest branch to get assigned. Never one to back down from a challenge, Lynda moved aviation to the top of her list, and was soon off to the Army’s flight school learning to fly the UH-1 Huey Helicopter.
After a stint in the army, flying not only the Huey but the C-12 King Air, Lynda decided it was time to find a new adventure. What that was, she wasn’t sure. Then one day she was on a commercial flight, and after the captain made his pre-takeoff announcement a little girl asked her mother why she never heard any girl pilots. That moment changed Lynda’s life.
Since women are only 6% of women pilots, Lynda felt she had a responsibility to let that girl, and many others, know that there were lots of “girl pilots.” And so she left the military to fly Beech 1900s for a regional airline. Soon she was flying Citations and Beech jets.
In the midst of her flying came the idea to start Girls With Wings, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization using women in aviation to inspire girls to achieve their full potential.
Lynda initially started her company to provide aviation themed items for girls. But she soon realized the reason why the low percentage of women in aviation fields was the fact that aviation was not marketed to girls—Not only with merchandise, but with a message that needed to be shared. She soon created a presentation to teach girls “everything” they needed to know to become a pilot. A website was built with nearly 100 bios of women in various fields of aviation, to motivate and inspire. Then she set up a scholarship program to get more women licensed as pilots.
If you haven’t checked out her latest scholarship, please click HERE.
Lynda and Karen, at the Women in Aviation Conference
Linda’s favorite quote: "We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot." Eleanor Roosevelt
Please visit Girls With Wings
Enjoy the Journey~
I'm a huge fan of Lynda and excited that she's Friday's Fabulous Flyer! We had a Girls With Wings booth at the Frederick Fly it Forward event and it was a huge hit. Such an inspiration for young girls who wish to fly!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the comment Victoria! She is an inspiration just as you are! Keep up the great work!!Delete
Kudos to Lynda and Girls with Wings, she is truly an inspiration to woman and girls everywhere.ReplyDelete
Showing that there is nothing we cannot accomplish; especially when we work together.
Thanks Piper Mama! She is truly and inspiration. Thank you for stopping by and giving her a shout... working together is what it's all about.Delete
Fantastic. I'm so glad Lynda heard that little girl ask her question. It seems to just take attention and tons of work and dedication to get more girls and women involved in aviation, but is so worth it.ReplyDelete
Thanks Linda, it truly is. And thank you so much for helping out at the event too!Delete
Thank you Karlene for posting about Girls With Wings and for your support - thanks to all of you!ReplyDelete
You are so welcome Lynda. You're an amazing woman doing amazing things... what's better than giving girls wings to fly?Delete