Shaesta Waiz, Founder and President of Dreams Soar, Inc., became the eighth woman in history to circumnavigate the globe solo in a single-engine aircraft in 2017. The mission of her flight was to inspire the next generation of STEM and aviation professionals globally, particularly young women. Since the completion of the flight, Dreams Soar has participated in over 60 outreach events and reached over 25,000 children to share the importance of STEM and aviation education. In 2020, Dreams Soar awarded its first flight scholarship to a female student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Today, Shaesta is leading the next chapter of Dreams Soar. The organization is building a one-stop shop digital hub to empower young professionals to own their aviation career journey and find solutions to support industry workforce shortages.
Born in an Afghan refugee camp, Shaesta and her family immigrated to America in 1987 to escape the Afghan-Soviet war. After discovering her passion for aviation at age 18, Shaesta attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Shaesta is an ambassador to the Federal Aviation Administration and holds a commercial pilot license. During her free time, she hosts the AVIATE with Shaesta podcast, where women leaders in aviation come together and share their experiences in aviation.