Name: Tasha Collier
Company: Phoenix Arising Aviation Academy
Girlstart: Was there a person in your life that encouraged you in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and/or to enter your specific field? If so, please tell us a little bit about how she/he encouraged you:
Tasha: I've had multiple women in my life that have inspired my interest in STEM, from a neighbor that was a scientist working to find advanced treatments for HIV and AIDS, to a friend and a sister-in-law whom both obtained graduate degrees in mathematics. All three of these women showed me that it was possible for women to be highly passionate and successful in STEM fields. I didn't know of the term STEM at the time, however each of their journeys greatly impacted my own views and determination.
Today, one of the most influential women I know of is Willa Mae Brown. This amazing African-American female was an aviator, activist, educator and the first Black officer in the Civil Air Patrol and the first black woman to hold a commercial pilot's license in the United States. Not only did she obtain her master mechanics certificate and her private pilot's license but she also trained the instructors that trained a group of men better know as the Tuskegee Airmen! Now that's inspiring.