Being positive enables me to focus on the next step.
Over the years, I’ve received many negative comments and have had
acquaintances and family members tell me that I was not going to
achieve my goal. I insisted that I was going to be an airline pilot,
and never let those comments get me down. Instead, I used them as
powerful weapons against my fear of not turning my goal into a reality.
lessons in 2000 concurrently with
classes at Long Beach City College, graduating in 2002 with an
I also became a flight instructor and taught at Long Beach
airport. I continued working as a flight attendant for United
Airlines until 2007, when I was offered a First Officer posi-
With Brenda Tirshfield
PWC — Striving for Balance
Professional Women controllers, inc. (PWc)
vision is to achieve a balanced workforce that
tion at American Eagle Airlines, flying the Saab 340 for the
first year, and then the Embraer 145. I had achieved another
of my dreams!
Along the way I discovered that being positive enables me to
focus on the next step. Over the years, I’ve received many negative comments and have had acquaintances and family members tell me that I was not going to achieve my goal. I insisted
that I was going to be an airline pilot, and never let those comments get me down. Instead, I used them as powerful weapons
against my fear of not turning my goal into a reality. It is possible, but only if you believe in yourself.
At American Eagle, I continue as a pilot mentor for new hires. Now, I also make presentations
and give speeches at Career Days at elementary
and middle schools to motivate teens and young
adults to follow their dreams and never let anyone
tell them that they cannot accomplish the things
they want to do.
After meeting the most incredible group of
women at the PWC Conference my commitment
to my future in aviation is even stronger. The
PWC Conference attendees were women who also
encountered many hurdles throughout their careers and were told “no” many times, yet they
did not give up or get discouraged. The PWC pioneers fought for what they believed in, creating a
unique organization that continues to benefit current and future female controllers.
On a last note, while attending the Reno Conference in 2011, I met Brenda Tirshfield, a United Airlines pilot who led me to meet Continental
Captain Leo Sherman, who was recruiting applicants for the Neicey Osborne 737 Type Rating
Scholarship, given by Continental Airlines. I was
interviewed in May, and a few days after the interview I was notified I had been chosen as one
of the Scholarship recipients. Continental Airlines has provided me with the opportunity of a
lifetime and I am incredibly thankful for it I truly
appreciate all that both WAI and PWC have done
for me, not only financially but also emotionally.
The PWC Certificate I received with my schol-
arship reminds me that if I work persistently, if I
am committed to my goals, and if I believe in my-
self, I can achieve anything! ✈
reflects the demographics of society and creates a
safe environment where all air traffic professionals
have passion for their career, can excel, and feel a
sense of community at work.
PWc is a resource for air traffic controllers and those
who are considering a career in air traffic control that
provides support, training, encouragement, and
camaraderie. PWc advocates balancing work and
family life, recruiting and retaining excellent
employees, developing people, enjoying work, and
maintaining a positive sense of community.