16:33 PM

Pilot inspires future women in aviation

At eight years old, Christine Rupert joined Girl Scouts of the United States of America. She, as did millions of young girls across the country, found participating in the organization as a way to give back to her community, make lifelong friends and expand her world. As the daughter of a pilot father and a flight attendant mother, Christine already had her eyes on the sky as a third-grader, but joining the Girl Scouts further developed her curious mind and encouraged her passion for STEM.

The group made such an impact on her life that when Christine became a Boeing 737 captain at American Airlines, she knew she wanted to work with the organization and inspire young girls the same way she was inspired.

As part of Christine’s efforts to introduce young women to the many careers the aviation industry offers, she organized a Women in Aviation Day event on National Girl Scout Day (March 12), which was hosted by American’s Professional Women in Aviation Employee Business Resource Group and the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida. More than 150 young girls participated in the career day, held at American’s hangar at Miami International Airport.

During the Women in Aviation Day event, Girl Scouts got the opportunity to tour the cockpit of a Boeing 777 aircraft with Christine, many boarding a plane for the first time.

They toured a Boeing 777 aircraft and spoke to pilots and flight attendants, learning about the many opportunities available within the airline and the aviation industry, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, George T. Baker Aviation Technical College, and other industry partners. Teams from across American Airlines engaged with the Girl Scouts to teach them about the industry and its many possibilities.

Once I made captain at American, I knew that I had to give back to the community that had helped shape me. I strongly believe that we don’t have enough women in aviation only because girls don’t get enough exposure to the industry from a young age… and this is where the Girl Scouts come in.

Christine, now a Miami-based 777 First Officer

Christine is a proud Board Member of the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, where she actively mentors girls interested in the aviation industry. Christine is also a member of the Florida Gold Coast Chapter of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of licensed women pilots, and she’s also a board member of the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, where she actively volunteers and mentors girls and women interested in the aviation industry.

Events like these are so important for the next generation of young ladies as they trigger curiosity and ultimately passion.  Aviation was always in my blood, with my father and mother encouraging my love of flying. But because this is not the case for many, I believe women in aviation, and in all male-dominated industries, need to step up to mentor and inspire future female leaders in the making.


American Airlines First Officer Christine Rupert

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