Media contact: CeCe Todd, (480) 461-4032
Becca Weinstock discovered her passion for the world of flight as a student at the East Valley Institute of Technology. During her junior year of high school at Mesa’s Heritage Academy in 2013, a friend who knew she loved to travel suggested that Weinstock check out EVIT’s Aviation program.
“After about a month into the program, I knew I was in love with aviation! EVIT’s aviation course opened my eyes and allowed me to find my true passion for all things aero,” Weinstock said.
Now a freshman at Arizona State University, Weinstock is an aeronautical management major and a founding member of the ASU Women in Aviation chapter. She’s been offered an internship to work with the Experimental Aircraft Association at its Air Academy aviation camp in Wisconsin this summer, as well as during the EAA’s Air Venture event.
But Weinstock is not the norm in aviation. According to the website for the nonprofit Women in Aviation, International, the number of women in the industry has steadily increased in the last 20 years, but still lags significantly behind the number of men in aviation careers. As of Dec. 31, 2013, women represented 6.61 percent of pilots in the aviation industry and 22.52 percent of non-pilots, according to the FAA’s Aeronautical Center.
Like women in the aviation industry, female students in EVIT’s Aviation program are considered “non-traditional.” As part of its commitment to meet the needs of business and industry, EVIT promotes the enrollment of “non-trads” training for careers in which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25 percent of those employed in the workforce.
Male students are non-trads in early childhood education, cosmetology, massage therapy, fashion/interior design, and all health programs. Females are non-trads in automotive, collision repair, diesel, culinary arts, 3D animation, fire science, heating/air-conditioning, law enforcement, multimedia, precision machining, radio, video, welding, engineering, and aviation.
She may not be the norm in aviation, but Weinstock considers that a plus.
“With a lack of women in aviation, there is far less competition when it comes to scholarships. A lot of doors can be opened for you as a non-traditional student as organizations are excited to see females entering the industry,” she said. “While there is without a doubt a lack of female aviation students at EVIT as well as ASU, I have never found it to be discouraging and have always been welcomed.”
EVIT’s female aviation students are as successful as their male classmates. They help build an airplane on Saturdays at EVIT’s East Campus, win scholarships and awards, and many become pilots. Most Aviation students – 77 percent -- go on to college.
Weinstock credits the success she’s had so far at ASU to EVIT instructor Lou Amadee and the internship she obtained through the EVIT Aviation program.
“I have done extremely well in all of my freshman classes at ASU since I have already seen the material and performed the lab exercises at EVIT,” Weinstock said. “… While I am unsure of my ultimate career goal at the moment, I without a doubt plan on being involved in aviation for the rest of my life.”
Aviation is one of 40 career and technical education programs EVIT offers tuition-free to high school students living in 10 East Valley districts – Mesa, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Higley, Queen Creek and J.O. Combs. Tuition-based programs for adults are also offered with financial aid available to those who qualify.
Aviation is offered exclusively at the EVIT East Campus, 6625 S. Power Road, located next-door to ASU Polytechnic and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in east Mesa. EVIT’s Dr. A. Keith Crandall (Main) Campus is at 1601 W. Main St., in west Mesa.
Registration for 2015-16 is ongoing. For more information, visit www.evit.com.