|It was a rainy day in Mumbai, as monsoon season takes reigns on the region. Although gloom in weather, the spirits of the Dreams Soar and Honeywell teams were high, excited to meet the 40 plus girls awaiting their arrival at the orphanage. No one prepared them for what they were about to experience, feel or encounter during their visit. Shaesta and Lyndse, in concert with Mrs. Neelu Khatri, President of Honeywell India, and Almitra Kika, U.S. Consulate Public Affairs office, arrived and their hearts immediately were touched like none other.
“The expressions on the faces of these beautiful girls immediately touched my heart, as they greeted us on the steps outside the orphanage with excitement, with hope in their eyes,” Shaesta shared. As the team entered with the children leading and following, they were shown all the amazing, colorful projects collectively created by the girls. Art is simply ‘expressive conversation’ and displays of emotions. You can see the passion, love and teamwork pulled together to make these pieces of art their own! The girls were so enthusiastic to meet Shaesta, one of the first times a female pilot visited with them in their entire lives. Having such presence by Mrs. Khatri, a woman with an inspiring story of ‘breaking barriers’ and pushing the envelope, was absolutely fitting with our mission, and global partnership with Honeywell Aerospace. “The girls grouped around us the entire visit and did not want to let go. They were intrigued by Shaesta’s story of struggle, limiting cultural traditions, financial burdens, having followed her dreams toward flight,” said Lyndse. Everyone watched closely when Shaesta and Mrs. Khatri both sat before the girls to help them realize their dreams, aspirations and passions. Some of these girls expressed interest in art, science, biology, social work, design, aviation and engineering. They asked hundreds of questions and there was one thing this team did not have: time. This visit was too short, so short that Dreams Soar plans to return to help empower these courageous, beautiful souls and help ensure their dreams see reality. “We had to leave, however our emotions carry throughout our days, as the imprint these young ladies left on us are not to be forgotten,” Lyndse added.
“Interacting with young girls and dreams in their eyes is such a wonderful experience. It’s not only humbling to listen to their stories but delightful to hear about their aspirations. I feel deeply honored to be able to work with them even if in the smallest way possible. A huge thanks to Shaesta and the Dreams Soar team to have touched the girls in such a meaningful way,” expressed Almitra. Dreams Soar’s realization after this visit shows we have much more work to do, and we have not even covered the whole globe. Children everywhere need hope, praise, compassion, a sense of direction and a ‘push’ to see their goals and dreams take flight. We are proud of the work community partners are doing to support children in their country, and we will continue to spend our time and efforts making resources available for youth globally to pursue STEM and aviation education.