Taking Risks and Giving Back: Evyn’s Story

Hi, my name is Evyn and this is my Flight1 story…

It was a hard time when my dad was in the hospital. I remember my neighbor, Sandy Strawhorn, telling me about the Flight1 program. She told me how the program helped kids dealing with serious health challenges or kids like me who were dealing with a family member who was struggling with health challenges. I listened to her tell me all about the cool aviation things kids in the program got to do and how it helped them rebuild confidence during hard times. Although I had never done much with aviation prior, I was interested in learning more and felt like Flight1 could really help me during this difficult time.

Throughout my time so far in the Flight1 program, I have completed one flight, one simulator, and attended two events. The events were cool because I got to learn more about how planes actually work. My favorite was when they were showing us all about the engines. I just found them to be fascinating. I also really enjoyed getting to meet and talk a little bit with other kids in the program who were going through similar things as me. It really felt nice to talk to other people my age who kind of understood what I was dealing with. Towards the beginning of the pandemic, I really appreciated when I received my pilot letter. It was nice to know that the pilots and the Flight1 program were still thinking about me.

Although I have enjoyed all my experiences so far in the program, I do think my flight and simulator experiences have been my favorite. I enjoyed doing the flight simulator because it allowed me to prepare for when I would actually be up in the air flying. I couldn’t believe I would actually get to fly a plane. I remember talking with one of my friends the day before my first flight. Despite my nervousness, my friend kept encouraging me and telling me how cool it was that I had the chance to fly a plane. When I arrived for my first flight, I was so nervous the entire time we were preparing for take-off. However, once we were up in the air, that all changed.

“At first I was nervous, but then as I started getting into it I was not as nervous. Once I got into it, it felt so unreal flying so high above all the people and buildings. Getting up there, in the air, was a big risk to take but I am glad I did because it was pretty amazing. I am really proud of myself for doing it.”

All of my experiences with Flight1 have meant so much to me. I will never forget the excitement of my first flight and the confidence it gave me. The confidence to know that I can really do anything I want to if I just put my mind to it. This confidence and positive impact Flight1 gave me has meant the world to me. So, when I saw that Flight1 was collecting donations around the holidays to help fund other kids’ experiences in the program, I knew in my heart that I had to donate.

“I really just wanted to give back and say thanks for everything they have done for me. If I could say one thing to other kids struggling with serious health challenges or who have a family member struggling with serious health challenges, it would be, ‘Just try to keep your head up, it will get better soon.”