Inspired to help others soar and reach their goals, one local lady is launching a new scholarship for women pursuing careers in aviation. Read on for all the high-flyin’ details.
Natalie Kelley is putting wind beneath the wings of fellow women interested in aviation.
Just over two years ago, Kelley herself was training to become a pilot. “It was apparent that there are very few women who pursue aviation, either as a hobby or a career,” she explains. “Aviation has many benefits, especially as a career because there is such high demand for pilots right now.”
So, Kelley finished her training to become a pilot, as she soaked in both the confidence and empowerment from her new career. She immediately wanted this feeling for other women, to show them that they too could enter this fun, yet male-dominated field.
“I wanted to put myself out there on social media and demonstrate what I was doing to hopefully push other women to pursue avenues that are typically male-dominated,” she says.
That’s when she decided to launch flyGIRL Kelley, a brand that empowers women, in particular those in aviation.
FlyGIRL Kelley launched more than a year and a half ago, when Kelley decided that there was a lack of support for females in aviation. She created t-shirts, caps, totes, and more to help raise the awareness that women can be pilots while also raising money to fund scholarships for women interested in pursuing aviation.
“100 percent of the proceeds of flyGIRL products goes directly to funding scholarships,” says Kelley. “I recently awarded my first scholarship for $5,000 to a local pilot-in-training, Megan Gerding.”
It’s not only the support of a scholarship and empowerment of women in aviation that makes flyGIRL Kelley unique. “I’m passionate about giving women confidence to go after their dreams, whether it’s aviation or not,” she says. “And I’m passionate about women supporting women. It’s a tough world and people face criticism everywhere. On my social media sites, it’s all about acceptance and encouragement. I’m not trying to get rich selling products – the purpose of my products is to be able to give the proceeds away and to help others.”
As Kelley continues her mission through the flyGIRL brand, she says that she’s also working on creating YouTube videos to share her flying adventures and what’s possible for women in aviation. She’s also planning to use the video platform to share the things she’s learned through her experience and training, as well as the struggles she faced along the way.
“The purpose is to educate, entertain, and encourage,” she adds.
To learn more about flyGIRL Kelley, visit www.flygirlllc.com. There you can sign up for Kelley’s newsletter. You can also follow along and interact with Kelley on social media. “I love seeing what accomplishments other women are reaching as well as sharing where I’m at in my journey,” she says, adding that social media is where she finds a lot of encouragement. You can follow flyGIRL Kelley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.