Cedar City, Utah — I Hart Flying, a California-based nonprofit, and Southern Utah University (SUU) have partnered to establish a scholarship program to help young women achieve their aviation goals. Through the partnership, SUU Aviation aims to provide up to $20,000 in flight scholarships, helping young women interested in aviation pursue their pilot’s license and increase the number of female aviators.
“In the next five years, Boeing needs 600,000 pilots, Airbus needs 500,000 pilots, and that’s just the main companies,” said Michael Mower, executive director of SUU Aviation and chief flight instructor. “There’s no possible way for the current aviation infrastructure to meet the global demand, so we are working hard to get the word out. Our partnership with I Hart Flying will tap into a whole market of female aviators who can fill this demand.”
The strategic partnership between SUU and I Hart Flying leverages the unique resources of each entity with the goal of recruiting more female students to the aviation program and giving these students the resources to attend flight school.
“Women occupy less than six percent of the pilot population,” said Rachelle Spector, founder and president of I Hart Flying. “We want to help young women consider fields not readily apparent for them and develop a passion for something greater than themselves. I’ve been flying for more than seven years now and because someone gave me the gift of flight it changed my life forever.”
What started as a campaign has turned into a national nonprofit organization with the goal to reach global audiences, raising money and awareness to bring more women into the aviation field. Spector started the nonprofit in August 2017. Immediately following nonprofit status and securing the partnership with EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association), she offered a flight scholarship of $5,000 fall 2017 to young women who showed an interest in aviation and received 200 qualified applications. I Hart Flying has since partnered with more than 10 different companies and organizations and has established themselves nationally as female-driven aviation advocates.
I Hart Flying’s goal is to reach, aid, and assist as many young women as possible with offering various scholarship, educational, and flight opportunities on a yearly basis.
SUU offers training in rotor wing (helicopter) and fixed wing (airplane) pilot components with the goal to expand the fixed wing program. The Professional Pilot Program offers licenses and ratings in areas ranging from Private Pilot to Certified Flight Instructor. Training takes place from the Cedar City Airport.
About Southern Utah University
Southern Utah University (1897) evolved from a teacher training institution to Utah’s designated masters university, offering over 140 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. With world class project based learning, unique undergraduate research opportunities, and a personalized learning environment (18:1) students lead projects mentored by professors. True to the University’s core vision, SUU faculty, staff and administrators enable students to honor thought in all its finest forms, achieve excellence in their chosen field, and create positive change in the world.