New Student Feature – Emelia
From conquering cancer to conquering the skies with AeroGuard, Emelia is the definition of what it means to persevere and follow your dreams.
Originally from Colorado Springs, she grew up in an era of punk rock and self-determinism, making her own way through life and breaking out of social norms, all the while, holding on to a dream of flying professionally.
Her love of aviation would take her to the US Army where she became an avionics mechanic, working with both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft over her 10-year military career, cementing her functional knowledge of flight equipment.
After leaving the Army, she went on to finish her B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Missouri, before heading west to begin a career in aerospace that would give her the opportunity to work with some of the most well-known companies in the sector, including SpaceX.
In 2019 Emelia was diagnosed with breast cancer and began the fight of her life. Over the next two years, she would endure rounds of chemotherapy and surgeries that would ultimately beat cancer and change her entire outlook on life.
“It’s like I got a second shot at life. Why waste it doing something that I don’t love? I’m in my 30’s now and just figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, so I’m making up for lost time.”
Almost immediately, Emelia decided to pack up and move to Arizona to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. Enrolling with a flight school just outside of Phoenix, she earned her PPL and IR rating before concluding that the training wasn’t the right fit.
“I didn’t feel supported by the instructors and staff there, they were focused on training pilots for their company’s needs and not for a career in aviation as a whole.”
That’s when she started looking for alternatives and learned about AeroGuard.
“From the time I interviewed, I felt the community, camaraderie, and the higher quality training environment. You can tell the instructors actually care and teach you how to be the best professional pilot, regardless of what airline you want to fly for.”
Coming from a different school presented its own set of challenges, but AeroGuard instructors and staff were there to make the transition as easy as possible, and by the time she flew her last cross country for her commercial rating, Emelia knew that she really got it.
“It’s such a win-win and a no-brainer, I wish I had changed schools sooner.”
Now, happily moving through her commercial ratings, Emelia spends her free time skydiving, hiking with her dog, and exploring national parks.
Oh yea, she’s also a nationally ranked roller derby competitor.