Letter to the Minnesota 99s (Women’s Aviation Org) Scholarship Committe

Letter to the Minnesota 99s (Women’s Aviation Org) Scholarship Committe

Dear Minnesota 99s Committee Members:

I am married with two young children (son, 6, and daughter, 21 months). I enjoy outdoor activities of all kinds (skiing, rafting, kayaking, etc.) and have been a “biker chick” for over 20 years (currently riding a Kawasaki Vulcan 900).

Some of my interests include alternative energy (solar/wind), environmental issues and animal rescue. I occasionally sing back-up vocals for a local band (Mark Cameron, “Life of Illusion”). I enjoy poking around old mining (ghost) towns and watching stock-car racing. On weekends you may find me spending time with my family (often outdoors) or working with my Taiko drumming team.

I spend my days managing our family business, Leader Motorcycle Accessories (see www.LeaderMotorcycle.com), and many of my evenings writing. My first novel, Last Chance Rescue, was published in 2008 (see www.LastChanceRescueBook.com).

Last Chance Rescue (like much of my writing) is heavily influenced by the time I spent in the Army National Guard, which trained me as an EMT and paramedic. It was also the U.S. Army that first exposed me to the helicopter. Boy, was I smitten! It was then (at the grand old age of 20) that I set a goal for myself: I would learn to fly a helicopter before I turned 30 — and I would find a way to do it myself, since I had no intention of staying in the military!

One month before my 31st birthday, I achieved that goal. Unfortunately, the events of 9/11 (and its aftermath), combined with pregnancy/starting a family — and of course, the ever-constant considerations of time and money — all conspired to keep me out of the air since that time (with a few very notable exceptions as passenger with a medevac team and in support of search-and-rescue — my most meaningful flying experiences since my own instruction).

I miss flying and would like to get back into it, but the helicopter is just too expensive (and not readily accessible). I have contemplated getting a fixed-wing rating since 2002, and even took two lessons in an Ultralight. I would eventually like to be involved with a volunteer organization that ferries sick/disabled people (or possibly animals) and/or search-and-rescue. And I would definitely like to share it with my children!

I enjoy working being part of a team working toward a common goal. A scholarship from the Minnesota 99s would get me on my way, and meeting other women pilots in my area would certainly be a major motivation!

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