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NDAA Executive Director’s Note: A Hopeful Future

November 26, 2020 07:30 | Anonymous

By The Staiger Consulting Group

I certainly did not go to school to be a teacher. However, due to COVID-19, I have become one! Although my second grader may disagree with me, I think I am doing a pretty good job. These times have forced me, and likely many of you, to pause and reevaluate how and where we spend our time and energy, as well as our place and footprint in the world. Maybe we are stretching our skills as a teacher, searching for grant funds to keep programs running, or exploring new ways of delivering business or education in a “Zoom” world.  Some of these situations have come out of necessity and others have presented themselves as an opportunity to grow, expand, and give. 

Even in the challenging and uncertain times we are navigating, I feel a great sense of hope and excitement for what a post-COVID world will look like. I am excited for the future, especially the future of aviation. There is an excitement in the eyes of these curious and resilient students. They are flexible and hopeful. They are willing and courageous. They are figuring out how to learn and attend school in unprecedented circumstances. I am especially hopeful for students exploring a career in aviation. 

For students eager to explore their options, the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) is proud to host the first ever FLY-ND Career Expo (originally planned for this October, it has been postponed until 2021). The NDAA is thrilled to be the launching point for students taking a step in this direction.

This free event is the first of its kind in North Dakota, with a mission to introduce and inspire high school and college age students to the many careers available throughout the aviation industry. The event will be filled with numerous opportunities for students to engage and learn, from aircraft static displays and numerous aviation exhibitors to our keynote speakers Gil Rud, a former Commander of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and Karen Ruth, a Delta Airlines Boeing 777 captain. There are opportunities for companies to exhibit and showcase their organizations and provide students with information and resources to help them look beyond the horizon and develop a vision for their future.

One of the highlights of this event is scholarships. We have partnered with the North Dakota Community Foundation to establish scholarship funds for students. If you are interested in donating, there are options for both endowed and non-endowed scholarships. Please visit our website to learn more: If you choose to make a contribution, you personally make a difference in the lives of aviation students. The endowed scholarship is an opportunity to leave your footprint on the industry in perpetuity. Whether it is a financial contribution or the generous contribution of your time and efforts, I thank you. 

I have hope for students, as well as forward progress of the aviation community. The future is theirs, led by a guiding hand from us. Whether it is programs like the Career Expo or the Chromebooks and notebooks scattered on my kitchen table, the future remains strong and I’m excited for what is to come. 

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North Dakota Aviation Association

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