Woman of the Week: Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart is someone I always was admired as a child. She was the 16th woman in the world to ever get her pilot’s license. And then she flew a plane across the Atlantic AND the Pacific Ocean. She then sadly took her last flight in 1937 when she disappeared in her flight to try to circle the globe.

Earhart started her early years with a troubled childhood and would often be placed with her grandparents. She was quite the little explorer. Amelia would hunt rats, climb trees, and found adventures of her own to go on. Amelia’s father was her push to be an independent woman. She knew she needed to not rely on someone else to care for her or her well-being.

After high school Amelia decided to assist wounded soldiers from World War I. She volunteered as a nurse’s aide and many of the soldiers she was caring for were pilots. Admiring the aviators fly their planes in her spare time was something she was very fond of, especially the Royal Flying Corps.

In 1920, she took her first plane ride and she was HOOKED. Being the independent woman she naturally was, she worked so many side jobs to helped pay for her dream. Many were similar to the ones that some of us here at Her Movement worked at. She was a truck driver and even a photographer at times. She did everything she could to be the best pilot she could imagine. She even slept in her leather jacket to give it more of a worn look. Amelia was determined. But in 1922, she achieved her dream. She had bought a yellow plane secondhand and had her pilots license in hand. She was ready to FLY.

With every story of a hero, there comes adversity. And Amelia faced it. She sold her dream plane and to help her mother with several financial hardships that arrived. She decided to help her mother with money by becoming a teacher and a social worker.  Eventually she decided to work for an airline company promoting local flights in her newspaper for the Boston area.

In 1928 she would do it. She would she would fly Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean after Captain Hilton H. Railey asked her if she would like a chance to fly. Amelia immediately said ‘yes’ and in June she took off.

Amelia Earhart became a celebrity. She became endorsed by many companies and even accepted a position as an editor as Cosmopolitan magazine and the eventually became promoter for the Trans World Airlines. That didn’t stop her. Amelia became the Vice President of National Airways and then the president of an organization of female pilots called the Ninety-Nines.

Seven years later she would take that fateful trip. Amelia left behind a legacy. She was strong, brave and career driven. She wasn’t afraid to go back to her dreams even when she felt defeated. I’m honored here at Her Movement to write about such a successful woman. I hope we can all find our inner Earhart today.