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lesley ekue's Fundraiser:

MY DREAM TO FLY

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BENEFITING:

lesley ekue

THE STORY:

I AM CALLED EKUE LESLEY.I AM AN AEROSPACE ENGINEERING STUDENT AND A STUDENT PILOT.I HOLD A BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN ECONOMICS BUT MY DREAM HAD ALWAYS BEEN TO WORK WITH AND FLY AIRPLANES.I ORIGINALLY COME FROM CAMEROON (WEST AFRICA)WHERE THE AVIATION INDUSTRY IS REALLY STRUGGLING.HAVING SUCH A DREAM IN A COUNTRY LIKE MINE WAS LIKE TELLING A FAIRY TALE TO YOURSELF.WE HAVE JUST ONE FEMALE PILOT WHO IS FACING SO MANY CHALLENGES IN HER FIELD AS IT IS THOUGHT TO BE A MALE FIELD IN CAMEROON.I KNOW THIS FIRST HAND BECAUSE SHE WAS MY MENTOR AND SHE ENCOURAGED ME TO FOLLOW MY DREAMS IN AVIATION SO THAT WE CAN DEVELOP THE AVIATION INDUSTRY IN CAMEROON AND MOST ESPECIALLY ENCOURAGE MORE WOMEN TO TAKE UP CAREERS IN AVIATION.IT WAS A THOUGH DECISION I HAD TO TAKE BY PUTTING MY DEGREE I HAD WORKED FOR ASIDE AND START WORKING TOWARDS A CAREER IN AVIATION AND AEROSPACE.I RECEIVED A LOT OF DISCOURAGEMENT FROM PEOPLE AS IT SEEMED ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO TAKE UP A CAREER IN AVIATION AND AEROSPACE AND WORSE OF ALL BECAUSE I AM A WOMAN.BUT ALL THAT DID NOT DISCOURAGE ME BECAUSE I WAS DETERMINED.I KEPT REMINDING MYSELF THAT WHERE THERE IS THE WILL, THERE IS A WAY.I KNEW A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH A STEP.ALTHOUGH IT TOOK ME SOMETIME, I FINALLY TOLD MY PARENTS THAT WAS WHAT I WANTED TO DO.SURPRISINGLY, THEY WERE VERY SUPPORTIVE AND ENCOURAGED ME TO FOLLOW MY DREAMS AND THAT I SHOULD BE READY TO ENCOUNTER THE OBSTACLES I AM GOING TO MEET.THAT GAVE ME MORE STRENGTH TO GO AHEAD.BUT HOW AND WHERE DO I START.I STRUGGLED AND FINALLY GOT TO THE ONLY FEMALE PILOT IN MY COUNTRY WHO WAS VERY EXCITED TO FINALLY HEAR ANOTHER WOMAN FROM HER COUNTRY HAD DECIDED TO TAKE UP A CAREER IN AVIATION.SHE WAS VERY SUPPORTIVE AND ANSWERED ALL MY QUESTIONS.SHE EVEN GAVE ME BOOKS TO READ TO GIVE ME A HEAD START IN WHAT IT TAKES TO BE IN AVIATION.SHE EVEN TOOK ME ON A DISCOVERY FLIGHT WITH HER WHICH WAS SO AMAZING.I STARTED GOING TO THE AIRPORTS AND JUST WATCH THE PLANES TAKE OFF AND LAND.I KNEW THIS IS WHAT I WANTED TO DO.I STARTED FINDING A JOB AT THE AIRPORT HOPING TO GET CLOSE TO TALKING TO PEOPLE IN THIS FIELD ABOUT MY AMBITIONS.WITH THE DIFFICULTY OF FINDING A JOB,I FINALLY DECIDED TO VOLUNTEER WITH SWISS PORT WORKING FOR SWISS INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES, SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS, KENYAN AIRWAYS AND NIGERIAN AIRWAYS.I DIDN'T HESITATE TO TALK TO THE PILOTS AND FLIGHT ENGINEERS ABOUT MY PASSION FOR FLYING.THEY WERE REALLY SUPPORTIVE AND ANSWERED ALL MY QUESTIONS AND GAVE ME A LOT OF ADVICE.SOME OF THEM EVEN TOOK ME RIGHT INTO THE COCKPIT TO DEMONSTRATE.FIND ATTACHED SOME PHOTOS OF ME AND A CAPTAIN IN THE COCKPIT OF ONE OF THEIR PLANES.AT THE TIME I WAS ALSO DOING RESEARCH ON FLIGHT SCHOOLS I COULD GO TO.FINALLY I WAS ADMITTED AND GIVEN A SCHOLARSHIP AT EMBRY RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY, DAYTONA BEACH FL TO STUDY AEROSPACE ENGINEERING AND FLIGHT AS A MINOR.I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT.I WAS SO EXCITED.MY PARENTS WERE SO PROUD OF ME.I FINALLY MADE IT TO THE UNITED STATES IN DECEMBER 2010.I STARTED SCHOOL IN JANUARY 2011 AND I WAS THE ONLY ONE FROM MY COUNTRY AT SCHOOL.AT FIRST IT WAS HARD ON ME BUT I QUICKLY GOT INTO THE SYSTEM.THE SEMESTER WAS OK BUT DUE TO FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES, I HAD TO DROP OUT AFTER THAT SEMESTER.IT WAS SO TOUGH ON ME BUT I REMEMBERED I HAD THESE OBSTACLES I HAD TO MEET.I DID NOT GIVE UP.I STAYED ACTIVE BY JOINING THE WOMEN IN AVIATION, THE NINETY NINES, THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF BLACK ENGINEERS, AIRCRAFT OWNERS AND PILOTS ASSOCIATION AND THE ORGANIZATION OF BLACK AEROSPACE PROFESSIONAL.I HAVE VOLUNTEERED IN SOME OF THEIR ACTIVITIES AND ATTENDED CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS TO KEEP EDUCATING MYSELF AND NOT TO LOSE FOCUS ON MY CAREER PATH.WHILE DOING THIS I WAS ALSO WORKING ON CHANGING MY STATUS SO THAT I COULD WORK AND PAY FOR MY EDUCATION.FINALLY IN JUNE 2012 MY STATUS WAS ADJUSTED AND NOW I CAN WORK AND GO BACK TO SCHOOL.I AM WORKING ON GOING TO A FLIGHT SCHOOL FIRST AND I CURRENTLY HOLD A FIRST CLASS MEDICAL AND STUDENT PILOT CERTIFICATE.BUT I STILL HAVE CHALLENGES.I CAN'T DO THIS BY MYSELF.THAT IS WHY I AM WRITING TO YOU ALL AND ASKING ON YOUR FINANCIAL, MORAL AND EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SO THAT I CAN MAKE IT BACK TO SCHOOL.I AM ALSO DOING A LOT OF RESEARCH ON SCHOLARSHIPS I CAN APPLY FOR.I WOULD VERY MUCH APPRECIATE YOUR ADVICE AND MENTOR SHIP SO I KNOW WHAT DIRECTION TO TAKE. I KNOW IT IS HARD NOW BUT SOMEDAY I WILL MAKE IT FOR NOTHING GOOD COMES EASY.I ALSO ASK FOR YOUR CONTINUES PRAYERS SO THAT I STAY STRONG. I AM WORKING SO HARD SO THAT SOMEDAY, MY COUNTRY AND ESPECIALLY THE WOMEN WILL BE A STRONG PART IN THE WORLD OF AVIATION. SO WHATEVER YOU DONATE WOULD BE WELL APPRECIATED AND BLESSED AND SOMEDAY YOU WILL APPRECIATED THE DAY YOU MADE THIS DECISION IN YOUR LIFE TO HELP ME. THANKS IN ADVANCE AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

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lesley is working on selecting a charity so you can support MY DREAM TO FLY.