Shaesta Waiz of Dreams Soar Inc. 2018 National Air and Space Museum Trophy Recipient

In the category of Current Achievement, the 2018 National Air and Space Museum Trophy was awarded to Shaesta Waiz of Dream Soar Inc. 

Waiz is a pilot, founder of the nonprofit organization Dreams Soar Inc. and an advocate for the rights of girls and women around the world. Originally from Afghanistan and having overcome difficult circumstances in her own life, Waiz realized the importance of inspiring others to live their dreams. She created Dreams Soar Inc. and uses aviation as a means to inspire and educate youth about STEM careers. Last year, she embarked on a solo flight around the world in a Beechcraft Bonanza A36, where she traveled to five continents, visited 22 countries, and personally inspired over 3,000 children and young adults. On Oct. 4, 2017, with the completion of the flight, Waiz became the youngest woman to circumnavigate the world solo in a single-engine airplane. The purpose of the trip was to engage, empower and motivate youth, especially girls, to explore STEM-related fields and aviation education. Waiz and Dreams Soar focused much of their attention on children from low socioeconomic environments and regions not supportive of women’s rights and education. The organization continues to promote STEM education to young people today.