Ever heard of Amelia Earhart? Of course you have. Let's try again: Have you ever heard of Amelia Rose Earhart?
If you still have visions of airplanes and global voyages circling in your head, you're not far off; Amelia Rose Earhart, named for the famous aviator herself, has just completed her own flight around the world. In an effort to recreate and symbolically complete Amelia Mary Earhart's fateful 1937 flight, modern-day Amelia took off from Oakland, C.A. on Thursday, June 26th and landed on Friday, July 11th after spanning the globe.
Since we're all about girl power ourselves (and this success story has it in spades), we had to ask Amelia all about her trip--why she took it, what it was like and how it felt to complete such a journey!
Her Campus: Obviously, you have a strong connection to Amelia Earhart (Amelia Mary Earhart, that is) because she’s your namesake. Do you remember a point in your life when you decided you wanted to follow in her footsteps and learn to fly?
Amelia Rose Earhart: Being asked about Amelia, taught about her legacy. . . definitely led to a feeling that I “should” learn to fly. The feeling that I truly wanted to learn, on my own without a feeling of obligation, came in college. My first discovery flight in Boulder, C.O., was pure magic. From that point, I was hooked and I would do anything to get back up in the sky.
HC: What do you enjoy most about flying?
AE: Flying affords me laser focus. It is the one place that I forget about petty tasks and issues that don’t really matter. I can leave it all behind by pushing that throttle forward and soaring into the clouds.
HC: Did anything about the trip surprise you?
AE: I am surprised at how well the weather cooperated during the flight. I, along with the rest of our team, thought we would see at least a few weather related delays during the flight. We had beautiful conditions nearly the whole time!
HC: Did you have any reservations about embarking on this journey? Any concerns? If so, how did you move past them?
AE: My concerns about the flight were always countered with research, asking a lot of questions and not stopping until the answers were found. My main concern was making sure that the flight was seen for what it was: a symbolic completion of Amelia Mary’s attempt to fly around the world. As her namesake, I feel like I have a big responsibility to live up to her name, in a good way. I am so glad that we completed the flight because it is truly beautiful to look back and see all the people that interacted with the adventure in positive and inspiring ways.
HC: What has it been like sharing this experience with fans and followers over social media?
AE: Social media made this flight possible! The best way for me to engage with my partners, family and friends throughout the flight was on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks to technology partners like Target, I was connected and tweeting live from the plane and was also able to award scholarships in flight as my co-pilot, Shane Jordan, and I passed over Howland Island, where Amelia intended to land in 1937.
HC: How have the gadgets that Target has provided helped you complete the journey?
AE: Target is the exclusive personal electronics partner to “The Amelia Project,” and the tech that they provided was essential to the completion of the flight. The iPad mini enabled us to track weather conditions and consult flight plans, while also allowing us to engage followers from around the globe with amazing photos, videos and content. Additionally, I wore a fashionable Violet FitBit the entire time and came home to find out that I burned about 21,000 calories during the flight! We were going, going, going, the whole time! The best part is, the affordability of Target’s electronics allows the young women who are a part of the Fly With Amelia Foundation to shop where I do.
HC: Do you think you’ll ever take on another adventurous project like this again in the future?
AE: I can see myself jumping into another big flight, but I want to make sure that I really think about what that could be, rather than jumping right into anything. My heart has to be in it, like it was and is for the flight around the world.
HC: How does it feel to have finished/be finishing the original Amelia Earhart’s legendary flight?
AE: It feels like a beautiful culmination of history, meeting present day flight, with a tribute to the future through the foundation. I definitely felt like Amelia’s spirit was in the Pilatus aircraft with us and going forward, her legacy will always be a part of who I am. I am proud to have planned and executed this flight with my amazing team of people who all poured their hearts into the project.
HC: What advice do you have for young women who want to learn to fly? And, more generally, what advice do you have for young women when it comes to pursuing their wildest dreams?
AE: Dreams are attainable, no matter the cost. Obstacles are a major part of every adventure and while they will feel insurmountable at times, when you look back you will love them just the same. I always tell the girls I work with to “define their true north.” When you know the path you want to take, you may get veered off course, but knowing your center point can be a grounding force that will carry you through the tough times. Adventure is worthwhile in itself, as Amelia Mary Earhart said. I believe this through and through.
We have to applaud Amelia for taking on this adventure; a namesake like Amelia Earhart is difficult to live up to (to say the least), but modern-day Amelia rose (or soared, exusing the pun) to the challenge!
If you could take on an adventurous project like Amelia's, which adventure would you choose to challenge yourself with, collegiettes? Tell us in the comments!