A Few Good Reasons to Step Up for Girls and Women in October

By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus President

October is an exciting and action-packed month for me, faculty, staff, and students at our Houston campus. We are busy  moving into our expanded facility this month,  and when everything is all in place, I will be sharing photos for everyone to see. So, stay tuned!

Next and for a cause much bigger than any one of us, I am participating in the Real Men Wear Pink of Houston campaign to benefit the American Cancer Society.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as part of this campaign, I have agreed to wear pink every day. Not only will I be wearing pink daily (with much appreciated wardrobe support from my wife Traci), I will be posting and sharing photos and messages about my campaign every day.

Cancer impacts everyone, either directly or indirectly. Cancer has had a profound impact on me and my family.  At age six, I lost my 30-year-old father to Hodgkin\’s disease.  From an early age, I learned this disease does not discriminate based on gender, age or ethnicity.  In 2009, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Melanoma and with exceptional care, my treatment was limited to surgery.  I am incredibly blessed and thankful to be cancer free for 10 years!  Not only am I excited to raise funds on a personal level,  but also because this is an excellent community project for the students at our school.  We will use the entire month to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and educate young men and women on how they can minimize their own cancer risks.

My fundraising goal is $2,500. Being the competitive person that many know me to be, I would be thrilled to exceed that amount.  To learn more about the campaign or to donate in support of my fundraising efforts, please visit www. https://secure.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=94182&pg=entry

Both MIAT campuses in Houston and the Detroit metro area are “all in” with me on the Real Mean Wear Pink campaign. We have designed special T-shirts with the slogan “Real Mechanics Wear Pink” for faculty, staff, students, alumni, family members, employers and anyone who wants one! They are available for $15 each and can be purchased by contacting the Houston campus.  You can drop in or we can ship them directly to you.  We are committing 100% of the proceeds from the T-shirt sales to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Another initiative that our Houston campus is backing  is Girls in Aviation Day on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Texas Flight, a flight school located near us at 20803 Stuebner Airline Road in Spring. We are collaborating with the Houston Chapter of Women in Aviation International to introduce 100 girls between the ages of 10 and 17 to career opportunities in aviation. The event is free for girls who register to participate.   Here is the link for more information: https://www.facebook.com/GIADHouston/

MIAT Houston campus faculty and students will be at the Girls in Aviation Day event this year. Our “crew”  will share their insights and perspectives on the role of aviation maintenance professionals in ensuring the safe and reliable operation of aircraft. They also will explain details of the aviation program that we offer at both of our campus.

The aviation industry is experiencing a global shortage of qualified workers. The demand for pilots and aviation maintenance technicians is especially high, and opportunities for women in these roles are good for those who are willing to

pursue the FAA training and certification requirements.  As a point of reference, only 6 percent of all pilots are women and less than 3 percent of all maintenance technicians are women.

We enjoy being involved in community service projects. These are only two examples of many ways that we are and will continue to step up and step out in the greater Houston area for causes we care about for many months and years to come.

Tours of our Houston campus are always welcome. Please check out www.miat.edu for more information and to schedule a visit to our expanded Houston campus.

Thank you for your support. And Think Pink!