Moody hosts WIA week, inspires youth

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Gillespie
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

To create a spark for the younger generation, Team Moody hosted Women in Aviation week, March 11-15, 2024.

From traveling to 10 local schools to hosting hundreds of students for base tours, Airmen aimed to inspire the local youth by putting a spotlight on a variety of aviation-related career fields. The combined effort of the 23rd Wing, 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing, and other Air Force bases, strived to motivate school-aged children to consider futures in the Air Force.

“I think the importance of this event and the exposure of Women in Aviation is getting the community youth involved,” said Capt. Alexandra Vance, WIA project manager and 75th Fighter Squadron pilot. “That's saying not only is it possible to be a woman in aviation, but it’s possible to be anybody from any walk of life with any background serving in the military and doing a number of different careers.”

Team Moody acknowledges the importance of a diverse Air Force in shaping a stronger and more effective military. Through the active involvement of Airmen from various backgrounds, Team Moody provided a fresh perspective on career opportunities to young individuals who might not have known were available to them.

“Experiencing Women in Aviation can be a transformative experience for youth,” said Darren Hill, 23rd Force Support Squadron force development flight chief. “It can shape their perceptions, aspirations, and attitudes towards gender equality, diversity, and their own future career paths. It highlights the importance of representation, role models, and inclusive opportunities in empowering the next generation of aviation professionals.”

Engaging with the schools also gave Team Moody the opportunity to showcase their capabilities in attack, rescue, and base defense mission sets. From pilots to intelligence specialists, Airmen shared their experiences and contributions to the Air Force mission.

In addition to the Airmen visiting local schools, the students toured the base to see first-hand what it’s like to work in the Air Force, interact with Airmen, and explore several aircraft and career-field displays.

“Women in Aviation was an amazing event,” said Avery Sebastianelli, Pine Grove Middle School student. “The fact that these ladies invite students to come out here to teach and inspire people like me is truly fantastic.”

Wrapping up the busy week of events, tours and demonstrations, Vance highlighted the importance of diversity in driving innovation within the Air Force as it’s moving forward into the future.

“The Air Force is all about innovation,” Vance said. “Part of innovation is having people from different backgrounds. With Women in Aviation, you are welcoming people from different walks and unique perspectives to contribute to the Air Force.”