Green Bay students take part in "Girls in the Air" program

Posted at 5:37 PM, Oct 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-05 18:37:54-04

The airline hangar at Austin Straubel Airport isn't where you'd typically find more than two dozen middle school girls, but these girls are getting a glimpse of what it's like to have a career in aviation.

During a visit to Austin Straubel, 30 girls from Washington and Franklin Middle Schools were given a shot in the cockpit, girls like Lorendy Renovato, a 7th grader at Washington. 

 “It was kind of cool, I did crash sometimes, but it was really cool and a good experience,” said Lorendy.  

This event was a partnership between Junior Achievement Brown County, Green Bay Area Public School District and the Preble Optimist Club.

It’s way for girls to get a firsthand look at what they can do in aviation.

“It's so much more fun exciting to the kids if they can go to the location, smell the air, hear the sounds, they can feel what's going on in the atmosphere,” said Linda Goudy, the Director for Junior Achievement Brown County.

One of the pillars of Junior Achievement is getting middle school kids on a career path, helping them chose things like courses they'll need.

They're focusing on women in aviation because the need is in demand.

“Female pilots make up about six percent of the whole pilot population,” said Allison Jahnke, a pilot with Jet Air.

“There is a critical shortage of women in aviation,” said Goudy. “And a critical shortage of women in STEM fields.”

STEM, meaning science, technology, engineering and math.
Pilots like Allison Jahnke spoke with the girls explaining they can start right now.

“They can start flight training if they're interested, take a discovery flight, get their hands on the controls, see if flying is something they would enjoy,” said Jahnke. 

It’s a way to make sure young women like Lorendy Renovato know her future is bright.

“It's really exciting to learn these kids of new things that I really didn't know about airplanes and stuff,” said Lorendy. 

This is the first time for an event like this. Organizers want to do more, like "Girls On Fire", showing young women careers in the fire industry, “Girls On Water”, and do more to partner with businesses that will eventually be looking for employees.