When we think of famous firsts in female history, Amelia Earhart is a name that soars above the rest. The first woman pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia left a legacy of adventure that continues to inspire girls around the globe today. But she didn’t just pave the way for women in the field of aviation; she was also an accomplished writer and fashion icon! Amelia was (and is!) proof that women, too, can have infinite interests and incredible dreams.
I have always identified with Amelia’s fierce sense of independence, which is why she came to mind when I faced the toughest decision a third grader can make: who to be for Biography Day. At eight years old, the task was simple – dress up in costume to look like a famous figure of your choosing, and present to the class a brief summary of his/her life story. Needless to say, I put on my mom’s old and oversized leather jacket, a pair of ski goggles, and ordered an aviator helmet to pull my look together; proud as ever, I was Amelia Earhart for a day.
Amelia was the perfect inspiration for me (and any young girl) because she embodied bravery, grace, and fearlessness. Apart from her accomplishments in flight, she was an editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, worked to promote commercial air travel, and even served as the first president of the Ninety-Nines, an organization of female pilots advancing the cause of women in aviation. Amelia was feminine and sleek – elegant and full of poise. Yet she was still wildly courageous – a trailblazer for women, an explorer, and a risk-taker to say the least. Amelia Earhart could fly, and her story makes us want to fly, too.
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