High Hopes: How one student is following her dream of becoming a pilot

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High Hopes: How one student is following her dream of becoming a pilot

Sophia Scorziello, Art Editor

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As a quarter of the Stamford High School student body rounds the bend of their senior year, one student has chosen a path less traveled–and more flown.

Rupa Syeda, a senior at Stamford High School, is pursuing her dream of becoming a pilot. With her admittance to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL, her dreams are just starting to become reality.

As most of us do, Syeda grew up with an ambitious career choice in mind. In the sixth grade she decided that she wanted to be a pilot, and while a lot of our big dreams faded as we got older, Syeda’s became increasingly appealing.

A career choice like this can be daunting. While Syeda was excited, her family was reluctant to accept her decision. The idea worried her traditional Bengali parents, she said, and her dad suggested she opp for a more traditional career path that would ensure her safety. But with Syeda’s unwavering love for flying, it was clear that becoming a pilot was her passion, and since realizing, her family and friends have remained supportive of her. She says her biggest inspiration is her cousin Uzzal, who always reminded her to dream big and follow that dream where ever it would take her, even if that meant 30,000 feet in the air.

In considering her options for a future career, Syeda wanted to choose something that she would be able to grow older loving, and a desk job just wasn’t that. “Being up in the air is so thrilling and freeing to me,” Syeda says. Flying isn’t just something she loves; it’s something that makes her feel alive. Not many people get to say their daily job excites them or makes them want to wake up every day and go to work, but becoming a pilot will allow Syeda to say just that. “Every time I’m on an airplane I feel an indescribable euphoria. That’s when I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Syeda said.

In the world of flying, women make up a very small fraction of pilots. According to the FAA’s Aeronautical Center, as of December 31st, 2017, only 7 percent of U.S. pilots are women. Syeda hopes to see a growing change in the role of women in aviation, looking to join the movement and pave the way for dreamers like her.

In becoming a pilot, Syeda doesn’t foresee a halt to her education. Universities for aviation allow for regular courses to be taken while flight training is taken on the side. She looks forward to receiving a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science as well as her pilot license.

As Syeda works through her final year in high school, she represents the dreamer in all of us. From a sixth grader with a big dream to a senior on her way to accomplishing it, she never let anyone get in the way of following what she loved.

Harnessing her spirit may help a lot of us who are reluctant to pursue our goals or are scared to go after great endeavors. Before the next five months slip away, remember that your future is in your hands, and that your dreams only become reality if you let them.


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