Orlando, Florida – Without aviation technology, round-the-world air journeys are left to
the imagination. Yet with the support of Champion Aerospace LLC, a leading global designer of aircraft
ignition systems, one young woman’s passion for aviation is allowing her to deliver outreach efforts in
18 countries to inspire the next generation, specifically women and minorities, to pursue STEM and
Shaesta Waiz is currently en route on a solo flight around the world. That’s more than 30 stops over five
continents, in 18 countries – with approximately 25,000 miles flown.
“Champion Aerospace has shown Dreams Soar we are a family in aviation technology,” says Lyndse
Costabile, chair for Dreams Soar, Inc.’s Board of Directors. “We appreciate their support in making
Shaesta’s journey a reality, setting a positive example to our next generation.”
Born in a refugee camp in Afghanistan in 1987, Waiz and her family fled to America to escape the brutal
Soviet-Afghan war. One of six sisters in her family, Waiz was raised in an underprivileged area of
Richmond, California, where she later discovered an interest in aviation. That’s when everything
changed for her.
A dual graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Waiz founded the Women’s Ambassadors
Program in 2011 to increase female enrollment through a modeled mentor program. In less than three
years, the program was successful increasing female enrollment from 13 to 22 percent, exceeding the
university’s initial goal. Dreams Soar was born in 2014 by Waiz, now a non-profit organization whose
goal is to partner with strong female role models along her global route, and together, promote the
importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and aviation-related education,
Global Partners to this program include ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), National
Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and Honeywell Aerospace.
“We are excited to partner with Shaesta and the Dreams Soar organization in support of inspiring girls
and young women to pursue STEM education, especially in the aviation field,” says Zach Lincolnhol.
Having completed her historic transatlantic crossing early June departing from St. John’s, Canada (CYYT)
to Santa Maria, Portugal, LPAZ, (The Azores), she is flying a 2001 Beechcraft Bonanza A36 throughout
Europe and on to Egypt, Middle East, India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and United States
to meet with children and aviation professionals to promote the importance of STEM education.
The longest leg of the global flight is Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California, one that extends to 2,091
nautical miles over the Pacific Ocean. U.S. stops include Columbus, Ohio, El Cajon, California, Phoenix,
Arizona, Wichita, Kansas, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Washington, D.C., and Mobile, Alabama.
For a complete itinerary of planned stops, and bios on Waiz and the Dreams Soar team, visit Dreams
Soar’s website: www.dreamssoar.org.
About Champion Aerospace: Champion Aerospace LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TransDigm Group
(NYSE:TDG), is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of aircraft ignition system technology
and airframe power solutions for use on nearly all commercial, piston and military aircraft in service
today. Champion ignition components powered the Wright brothers first powered flight in 1903 and
have continued to power the skies ever since.
About Dreams Soar, Inc.: Dreams Soar, Inc., is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Shaesta
Waiz, a dual-graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, whose mission is to inspire the next
generation of STEM and aviation professionals, globally. The global solo flight is the first phase of
Dreams Soar’s worldwide effort to empower the next generation to pursue degrees and careers in
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and aviation, specifically for young women and
minorities. Supported by her Dream Team of collegiate students and young professionals, Waiz aims to
be the first female pilot from Afghanistan to fly solo around the world, and youngest female to do so in a
single-engine aircraft. On May 13, 2017, Shaesta launched from Daytona Beach International Airport
(KDAB), where the global flight intends to raise additional dollars to award scholarships for young
women and men worldwide in pursuit of STEM and aviation education. For more information about
Dreams Soar, visit dreamssoar.org.