Named by the Jaycees as one of the “Top Ten Young Americans”, Amelia Rose Earhart recreated and symbolically completed the 1937 flight of her namesake, Amelia Mary Earhart. Her 28,000 mile flight around the world in a single engine aircraft became a symbol of determination, courage and empowerment for anyone who has ever decided to seek new horizons.
Amelia is the president of the Fly With Amelia Foundation, a non-profit providing flight training scholarships to young women across America. She can be seen each morning on Denver’s NBC affiliate, KUSA-TV reporting on breaking news and traffic, is an active member of the Board of Directors at Wings Over the Rockies, Colorado’s Official Air and Space Museum and is currently working toward her multi-engine aircraft rating.
Hope and Positivity! with Amelia Earhart #isharehope Episode 122
Summary: Amelia’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.
Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?
Hope for me is sometimes based in fear. When we don’t know something is for certain, we have to hope for it, we want for it, we strive to achieve it. Whether that’s through learning, through waiting, through hard work and education, when you hope for something there is a little bit of fear inside of us that we won’t get it. There’s a lot of fear, but it’s the fear that keeps us striving to learn more.
My definition of hope is: It’s a comfort with fear that keeps us striving for more.
Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?
Every stranger that I meet is some way a role model in disguise. I think there’s something that we can learn from every single person. There’s something to be found and dug out from every connection.
When it comes to a few of the standouts in my life, I had a mentor leading up to my flight around the world. When I found out that I wasn’t related to the first Amelia and the question came out: do I cancel this flight? Do I throw it all away or do I push forward and try to make it happen? This person represents the ultimate form of hope for me because he said to me when I was in the depths of trying to figure out what my identity exactly was. My name essentially has been taken away. He said, “Amelia, I’m going to ask you a question, the day you were born, did the FAA walk into that delivery room and hand you that pilot license just because your parents named you Amelia Earhart?” I said of course not. He said “you put the hard work in. You spent the time, spending your money, spending your energy trying to achieve this goal.”
When you look back at the things you’ve accomplished, it’s easy for others to try to take them away from you, but who did the hard work?
Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?
Expanding on that story of me finding out that I wasn’t related to the first Amelia and questioning if I should cancel my flight around the world, that really was a crust in my life where I had to say I’m either going to accept the opinion of others, people who have no idea who I really am. They don’t know my character. They either see me on TV, the follow me on social media or maybe they just heard the story. It was either allow their opinions to define what I was capable of accomplishing or dig really deep and say, you know what, I’m going to do this flight not because I want to prove to them that I can, but because I want to prove to myself that I can. If the outcome on my mind was no longer dependent on the acceptance from all these strangers who were following the flight and it was more dependent on the acceptance of myself when I finished, did I feel like I did the right thing in the end?
That was the ultimate test of my hope and you can see how it incorporated a lot of fear. That fear of am I strong enough to handle this? Do I know enough about who I am to know that I won’t give up halfway around the world and try to cancel the whole thing? Knowing that I had so many kids and little girls with these adventurous aspirations following me and watching that little red dot on my website as it tracked all the way across the largest oceans in the world, it was the hope of those little girls who were watching this flight and knowing that they were there. Those pictures that were flooding in and the messages that we were getting, they were saying “we hope that you finish”. That honestly was the fuel inside the wings of my airplane.
That’s one of the situations where digging deep to find that hope really paid off because now I walk with my shoulders back and my head held high. I’m not Amelia Earhart named after the first Amelia. I’m this person for Amelia who, yes, same arrangement of letters, totally different person with a lot of the same passion.
Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?
I love to find the good in everything. For me, being a good listener is the way to share hope because you have no idea what people are going through in their silent struggles. Sometimes when someone just pays attention to you, that can be the difference. When someone really listens and asks you a couple of questions, that’s a really simple one. Reach out to somebody. Give them that extra chance to be heard.
The two really actionable big things: the first is The Fly with Amelia Foundation. We give scholarships to girls 16 – 18 all across the country. They get $7500 to learn how to fly. Another thing is I do a weekly series called STEM Superstars. We’re telling the stories of educators and kids all across Colorado that are focusing on science, technology, engineering and math and creating career opportunities for kids. That for me is fun because we’re saying develop these skills and you will get the job that you want to create the life that you want.
Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?
(1) Before you launch into anything, think about where you are. What’s the current situation and if you need to make some improvements before you start, do it.
(2) Before you come in for that safe and graceful landing which we always hope for, know the fact that turbulence is a part of every life. Sometimes it’s subtle sometimes it will just rock your socks off and scare you to death.