SAN JOSE, Calif. - Saturday marks International Girls in Aviation Day, and Bay Area scholars took point on the celebration.
San Jose State University students celebrated the day at Reid Hillview airport and spoke with KTVU on how they want to inspire the next generation of girls who want to be pilots.
"Being in aviation is a pretty obscure industry to get into," said Avery Lalor, an SJSU senior.
Lalor is the president of the university's Women in Aviation Club. Flying caught her attention during an interaction with a pilot on a family vacation.
[The pilot] let me take the controls from the British Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico, which was a crazy opportunity," recalled Lalor.
An opportunity she says more women need.
SJSU's Department of Aviation says that's what the international girls in aviation event is all about.
"I've been in aviation for 30 years and under 10% of commercial pilots are female aviators, and that hasn't changed really in 30 years, and we're out here trying to show if you can see it, you can be it," said SJSU Aviation Instructor Wendy Mora.
Here, young girls had the chance to play with model planes, sit in real ones, and even see themselves in the skies through a flight simulator.
All of that exposure, one dad says, made his 7-year-old camera-shy daughter curious.
"She just told me she wants to learn how to drive a plane," said the dad.
The women helping with this event say if they can inspire just one girl and point her attention to aviation, then they've done their jobs.
"Part of my goal to be a pilot, it's not only just because that's the career that I want, It's because I can be part of inspiring the next generation of aviators, especially young girls," said Lalor.