At 8 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’s world was already bigger than the average third grader, but joining the Girl Scouts further developed her curious mind and encouraged her passions in STEM.
The group made such an impact on her life that when Christine became Boeing 737 captain at American Airlines, she knew she wanted to work with the organization and inspire young girls the way she was inspired.
“Once I made captain at American, I knew that I had to give back to the community that had helped shape me,” said Christine, now a Miami-based 777 First Officer. “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 is a member of the Florida Goldcoast 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.
“From the beginning, Christine has demonstrated an incredible commitment to developing the next generation of women leaders in aviation,” said Chelsea Wilkerson, Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida CEO. “Between her work as a member of our board of directors, aunt to a Girl Scout, dedicated volunteer and as a lifelong learner, she’s a role model for us and our girls.”
As part of Christine’s efforts to introduce young women to the many careers the aviation industry offers, on National Girl Scout Day, she organized a Women in Aviation Day event hosted by both 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 the airline’s hangar at Miami International Airport (MIA).
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 in Cargo, Aircraft Maintenance, Customer Care, Premium Services, Administration, Operations, Envoy, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD), George T. Baker Aviation Technical College, among other industry partners.
“Events like these are so important for the next generation of young ladies as they trigger curiosity and ultimately passion,” added Christine. “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.”