Shaesta Waiz is honored with
the prestigious Smithsonian
National Air and Space Museum
2018 Current Achievement Trophy

Photo credits: Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

On Tuesday night, Shaesta Waiz and General John R. Dailey were honored with Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum 2018 Trophy Awards for their inspiring work and impact in aviation.

The event was held at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Over 200 guests were invited to the event by the Smithsonian, including senior government officials, select members of Congress and Congressional staff, executives from the aviation and space community, former Trophy winners, museum advisory committee members, and senior Smithsonian and Museum staff. Twelve members of our Dreams Soar team were in attendance.
Formal photos were taken by the Smithsonian’s photographer in the Wright Brothers Gallery, with Shaesta, Gen Dailey and our team in front of the historic 1903 Wright Flyer. The awards presentation was followed by a formal dinner in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, where guests sat next to the Lunar Module LM-2 and enjoyed dinner with historic aircraft hanging overhead, including Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and the Bell X-1, the aircraft in which Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier.

Christopher Browne, Interim Director of the NASM, presented the awards at a ceremony held in the Lockheed Martin IMAX theater. Shaesta was presented her 2018 Current Achievement Award first and the audience was visibly impressed and amazed! Gen Dailey was then awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Trophy for his distinguished career of over 60 years of service to our country, including more than 30 years in the Marine Corps, seven years working for NASA, and then serving as Director of the NASM until his retirement earlier this year. While accepting his award, Gen Dailey looked at Shaesta and said that he fully expected her to be back one day to receive the Lifetime Achievement award.
Every member of our Dreams Soar organization is immensely proud of Shaesta, our Founder and President, and we thank everyone who supported us before, during and after our 2017 Global Flight for STEM. We look forward to continuing our mission to inspire the next generation to let their dreams soar.
Thank you to Departure Point Films for the incredible video.

“Early in my life, I came across a quote that stayed with me through the years--“Success is never achieved alone.”  I would like to truly thank everyone who supported and contributed to the Dreams Soar global flight. In addition, thank you to the National Air and Space Museum for honoring me with this amazing award. This trophy serves as a beacon for me to continue our work, inspiring others.” – Shaesta Waiz

What is the National Air and Space
2018 Trophy Award?

The National Air and Space Museum presents this trophy annually to recognize both past and present achievements involving the management or execution of a scientific or technological project, a distinguished career of service in air and space technology, or a significant contribution in chronicling the history of air and space technology.
From the National Air and Space Museum press release:

"The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum 2018 Current Achievement Trophy will be awarded to Shaesta Waiz of Dreams Soar Inc. on March 27 at a black-tie dinner in Washington, D.C.

Established in 1985, the award recognizes outstanding achievements in the fields of aerospace science and technology and their history.

“The winners of the 2018 Trophy have played a significant role in inspiring the next generation of innovators and engineers,” said Chris Browne, interim director of the museum. “Gen. Dailey has spent his life serving our country in the aerospace industry, most recently as director of the National Air and Space Museum, and Shaesta Waiz continues to motivate young people after her extraordinary flight around the world.

Shaesta Waiz, the 2018 Current Achievement winner 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."
Trophy winners receive a miniature version of “The Web of Space,” a sculpture by artist John Safer.
General John Dailey and Shaesta Waiz
The Milestones of Flight Hall at the National Air and Space Museum
Shaesta, at bottom of photo, accepting the Trophy in the IMAX Theater.

Check out the stellar list of previous recipients that Shaesta is joining!

Find more photos, videos and updates on our social media pages!

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