New A&M Central Texas aviation science lecturer combines her two passions to take students to new heights

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 10:53 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - The newest lecturer for aviation science at Central Texas A&M is telling her story of how she went from educator to aviator, and now has found her to combine her passions into one.

Angie Griffin spent the majority of her adult career as an educator, a career most who know her assumed she would always pursue.

“I taught STEM, I was principal for three small school district so I was kind of a superintendent or director,” says Griffin.

But in her 40s she took a trip to Alaska with her parents where she went dogsledding. In order to get to the mountain for the dogsledding, she had to take a trip in the helicopter. It’s a moment she says she will never forget.

“When the helicopter lifted off the ground it was like fireworks. It was like everything went into this brilliant color,” Griffin explains.

She said in that moment, it was a feeling she wanting to experience everyday. So, after spending her entire adult life as an educator, she quit her job and started flight school at the age of 40. The only female future flier in her class.

“I really didn’t feel any barrier or any difference at all, we were just people passionately excited about helicopters,” Griffin says.

Her grandchildren call her “Grangie” but in the sky she known as a Whirly Girl. Whirly Girls international is a non-profit for female licensed helicopter pilots, a community of women supporting each other in this commonly male dominated field.

Now, she is taking her first passion and her new passion to guide her students to new heights. She says she enjoys working with the younger future pilots because she feels as if she can really mentor them.

“To know that they are getting a quality education and to know that I am helping them better their life and their mind and to think about things in a different way. It’s equally as exciting, honestly,” Griffin says with a smile.

And she is always reminding everyone that it’s never too late to take a leap of faith.

“Follow your passion, because it will lead you to places you can’t even imagine,” Griffin says.

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