New Pilot Thanks Family, Friends, Young Eagles

New Pilot Thanks Family, Friends, Young Eagles

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the EAA Young Eagles program in 2017, we’re featuring 25 Young Eagles whose stories inspire and exemplify the impact of the program.

High school senior Alexandra Sexton, EAA 1207249, is wasting no time pursuing her goal of a career in aviation. After her teacher John Edsall, EAA 357357, encouraged her to take a Young Eagles ride, Alexandra took advantage of the free ground school courses offered through Sporty’s and passed her checkride on November 15, 2016.

“I have loved [aviation] ever since and have not stopped and don’t plan to,” she said.

Alexandra said she’s now flying actively and plans to fly Young Eagles herself during an upcoming rally at her local chapter, EAA 812.

“I think sometimes kids shy away [from] becoming a pilot because it seems like just such a crazy unbelievable thing,” she said. “However, if you put your mind to it and work extremely hard you can accomplish it just like I did and that is something that I can’t wait to express and show to them.”

Along with hard work, Alexandra said a strong support system was essential to helping her get her private pilot certificate.

“Both of my parents absolutely love aviation and I have been very lucky to have been encouraged by my mother this whole way through,” she said. “I would not have been able to do it without the support of my family, friends, teachers, clubs like EAA, sponsors, and the Marion County Aerospace Foundation who encourage me each and every day to be the best that I can be.”

For young people who may not have that same level of familial support, Alexandra said the Young Eagles program is a great way to get inspired and meet people who can help encourage them.

“Through the Young Eagles program you have the opportunity to meet so many amazing people who are such great role models and continue to inspire young people,” she said. “My advice for young people who are interested in aviation would be … don’t let anybody talk you out of what you want to do. At the end of the day you do what you want to do and be the very best you can be. Having that mindset you will go out and do anything.”

If you or someone you know has a Young Eagles story to share, e-mail us at khollidaygreenley@eaa.org. You can also share your Young Eagles photos or video with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #YoungEagles25.

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Katie, EAA 1186406, is an avid aviation lover and learner and assistant editor in EAA publications.