Press Releases

2021-11-12 (All day)

Stephanie Kenyon has joined the Women in Aviation International (WAI) staff as chief growth officer. In this new leadership role, she is responsible for strengthening and growing the organization while broadening support for its mission.

“Stephanie comes to WAI with a proven track record in the aviation industry successfully fundraising with both Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the AOPA Foundation. She is a welcome addition to our team and a great asset for WAI’s strategic goal to increase the support of our organization’s programs with key stakeholders,” Allison McKay, WAI CEO says.

2021-11-10 (All day)

Women in Aviation International (WAI) is proud to announce the awarding of a $1 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to strengthen the organization’s initiatives encouraging youth to pursue STEM futures through media platforms, industry partner coalitions, and cultivation of female aviation champions.

2021-10-13 (All day)

Massive recruitment effort to ensure aviation’s next generation workforce

With 85 individual events presented worldwide, Women in Aviation International’s September 25 Girls in Aviation Day 2021 reached nearly 10,000 attendees. While a majority of events were held in person, many were organized for virtual gatherings through the use of the Aviation for Girls App and additional video content. A hand full of events will continue to take place through the end of October.

Truly an international event, Girls in Aviation Day was celebrated not just in the United States, but in 17 other countries across North and Central America and Australia as well as countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Girls were introduced to the career and lifestyle possibilities in aviation and aerospace through meeting role models, career panels, exploring airplanes and airports, and a host of hands-on, fun and educational activities ranging from a sectional chart treasure hunt to making jewelry using A&P tools.

2021-08-20 (All day)

Seven years of support helps make Girls in Aviation Day and Aviation for Girls magazine possible

For the seventh year in a row, Women in Aviation International received a $12,500 grant from The International Society of Transport Aircraft Training (ISTAT) Foundation, which funds educational programs that advance commercial aviation.

As in past years, this grant will be used to expand the distribution of Aviation for Girls magazine with The ISTAT Foundation identified as the sponsor of this year’s issue. With this grant, the number of copies printed will be distributed in both hard copy and digitally. The 2021 issue of Aviation for Girls will be available digitally to all Women in Aviation International members and any interested individuals at WAI.org.

2021-07-09 (All day)

48 WAI members receive $256,00 in awards

Women in Aviation International (WAI) congratulates 48 members who have been selected as Spring 2021 scholarship recipients thanks to a generous $250,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, as well as a $6,000 WAI scholarship. View the full list of winners at www.WAI.org/2021-scholarship-winners.

Scholarships include funding to further members’ interests in air traffic control, aviation maintenance, flight training, helicopter ratings, and space. New to this round of scholarships are four scholarships, each worth $3,000 for WAI Chapter members outside of the United States, to be applied towards completion of an additional flight certificate.

2021-07-02 (All day)

Fulfilling a lifelong dream on New Shepard flight

Women in Aviation International (WAI) congratulates Wally Funk, Lifetime WAI Member #26, for getting one step closer to fulfilling a lifelong mission to become an astronaut. This week, Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos released a video on social media personally inviting Wally as an honored guest on New Shepard’s first human space flight on July 20. She will join Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, and an unnamed auction winner on the flight. 

Wally is a 1995 inductee to the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame recognized for her many firsts throughout her career. She graduated first in her flight training class at Stephens College, and went on to excel in the flying curriculum at Oklahoma State University. At age 20, Wally was the first woman ever hired to flight instruct at Fort Still, Oklahoma. In the 1960s, she was one of 25 women chosen to undergo preliminary astronaut testing for a privately funded project called the Women in Space Program which tested female pilots for astronaut fitness. Later known as the “Mercury 13” – thirteen American women successfully underwent the same physiological and psychological screening tests as the male astronauts selected by NASA for Project Mercury, but they never flew to space. Wally was the youngest graduate of this program.

2021-06-30 (All day)

Start applying for available scholarships!

With new scholarships being posted weekly, the 2022 WAI scholarship program officially opens tomorrow, July 1, and members can review dozens of scholarships. Currently, there are 98 scholarships offered for flight training, engineering, maintenance, dispatcher, drones, and professional development for individuals in all stages of life. Additional scholarships and internships will be added in the coming weeks and months, with over 100 scholarships expected to be posted by the Fall. Applicants are encouraged to check for new scholarships often and may apply for up to three scholarships per year.

2021-06-25 (All day)

All systems go for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021

For the 13th year, women attending EAA AirVenture will enjoy a show within a show as a host of WomenVenture activities take place. EAA WomenVenture is an annual celebration of women from all facets of the aviation community.

Activities are scheduled during the week of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (July 26-August 1) to provide women the opportunity to connect with other women who love aviation and build camaraderie within the EAA and WAI communities.

WAI’s Connect Breakfast, co-sponsored by Avemco and United Airlines, takes place on Wednesday, July 28, starting at 8 a.m., and is held at the Paul H. Poberezny Conference Center (PHP Tent). This event features two female members of the Orbis MD-10 Flying Eye Hospital, pilot Cyndhi Berwyn and mechanic Valerie Sudberg, who will share their stories about volunteering for the global effort to end avoidable blindness in this state-of-the-art flying teaching hospital.

2021-05-03 (All day)

Visit a WASP gravesite to honor a WASP

Women in Aviation International (WAI) members and friends will honor the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) by visiting their graves and leaving an appropriate decoration in the form of flowers or other remembrances. In its fourth year, the #HonorTheWASP program was originally envisioned to take place over the Memorial Day weekend each year. In an effort to allow participants to observe best social-distancing practices, WAI encourages participants to visit gravesites over the entire month of May as opposed to just on Monday, May 31st, Memorial Day.

“WAI members around the world are grateful for the service and sacrifice of the formidable group of WASP who served so honorably during World War II. This group of impressive ladies were brave and dedicated and it is our honor, as a group, to pay tribute to their bravery and dedication,” says WAI CEO Allison McKay. “While many adult Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19, we hope that our members and visitors remember to stay safe during their commemorative activities…wear masks, visit outside of the Memorial Day weekend, and maintain distance from others in your party. We will not let the pandemic stop us from honoring these incredible women who risked their lives to do their part for the war effort, and led the way for so many of us,” she adds.

2021-05-03 (All day)

WAI’s Aviation for Girls App Continues to Bring Inspirational Material and Role Models to Girls Year-Round, for Free

Women in Aviation International’s Girls in Aviation Day (GIAD) will return to in-person events across the globe on September 25, 2021, and the Aviation for Girls App will also continue! WAI chapters and corporate members will be free to host in-person events for girls ages 8-17 this year, as their local health guidance allows. WAI will continue to offer additional virtual materials, activities, information and interviews via the Aviation for Girls app, for free across the globe, through 2021.

“WAI’s chapters, corporate members, and partners are excited to have the opportunity to introduce local girls to all the opportunities aviation has to offer, in person, again in 2021. The safety and health of our members and GIAD participants and volunteers is of the utmost importance, and GIAD event hosts will follow local COVID-19 health guidance related to limits on the size of gatherings, social separation, mask requirements, and more,” says WAI CEO Allison McKay. “Details for registration, activity kits, merchandise and event locations will be announced in the weeks to come. For now, save September 25, 2021 for Girls in Aviation Day!”

Benefits of a WAI Membership

WAI members seek to inspire and stand for encouragement, continued education, and a whole lot of fun! If you’re a lover of all things aviation and aerospace, and enjoy sharing your passion with others, we’d love to have you! Membership includes job search opportunities, scholarship opportunities, access to mentors in your industry, and much more.

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