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And to Inspire More Young Women

Longview TX – June 17, 2015 – Amelia Earhart, see what you started? The week of June 19 (and on the 87th anniversary of the day America’s aviatrix became the first woman to cross the Atlantic in flight) two young grads from LeTourneau University–one of the nation’s top aviation schools–compete in the all-female Air Race Classic.

June 22 through 25, in the 39th annual “Air Race Classic” (Fredericksburg, Va. to Fairhope, Ala.), Jovita Perez-Segovia and Rebecca Davidson will fly 2,400 miles–continuing the all-female race tradition founded in 1929 by Earhart and 19 other pilots. The Air Race Classic’s forerunner, The First Women’s Air Derby, originally flew from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, Ohio. Now the Indy 500 of women’s air racing, the Air Race Classic draws pilots ages 17 to 90. From wide and varied backgrounds, and in teams of two or more, they fly “VFR” (virtual routing and forwarding), daylight only, with four days to score a flyby at each enroute timing point. Each plane travels in race form to determine its handicap speed; each team wants actual ground speeds as far as possible over the handicap speed.

Track Jovita and Rebecca’s Race Progress in Real Time

“The FAA says 6 percent of pilots are women, and we aim to improve that,” Fred Ritchey, dean of LETU’s School of Aeronautical Sciences said. “Young pilots like Jovita and Rebecca–women with vision and purpose–inspire more young women to believe for themselves that the sky’s the limit.”  (Or as Perez-Segovia says, “The sky is not the limit. The sky is home.”)

In the way their hero lifted notions of “girls’ work,” Jovita and Rebecca want to end limitations for other young women. In the air and in life, Davidson says, “nothing is out of reach.”

For more info on the Air Race Classic, visit:

About LeTourneau University
LeTourneau University is a comprehensive institution of Christ-centered higher education where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community.  LETU’s wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs include aviation, arts & sciences, business, education, engineering and nursing. Some 1,300 students study at LETU’s main campus in Longview, Texas. LETU also has a robust suite of online programs, and hybrid programs in Dallas and Houston. Claiming every workplace in every nation as their mission field, LeTourneau University graduates are professionals of ingenuity and Christ-like character.

About the Pilots
Jovita Perez-Segovia of Mission, Texas, is a December 2014 graduate of LETU’s School of Aviation–a school and major she locked in on while still in high school. The deal closer was her on-campus Aviation Preview. Jovita liked LeTourneau’s small, family-feel, personal campus. She liked the faculty-student rapport between. She liked the idea of attending a college that would also build her faith. Currently an enrollment officer at LETU’s School of Aviation, Jovita just knows whatever she does she’ll fly. Airlines, corporate or military–God will open right doors. The sky is not the limit, Jovita says; the sky is home.

Rebecca Davidson, a May 2015 graduate of LETU’s School of Aviation,  grew up overseas as an Air Force brat. From Panama to New Mexico to Italy–her constant was the airplanes around her.  By the time her family settled in North Texas, just before her freshman year in high school, Rebecca saw her future in aviation. She earned her A&P mechanic certificate and her commercial single and multiengine pilot certificate both through LETU. Currently she’s completing her flight instructor certificate and is an aircraft dispatch coordinator for the LETU School of Aviation. Weekends she works at East Texas Skydive. What would she like to tell other young aviators? She’d like to tell them that nothing is out of reach.

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L to R: Jovita Perez-Segovia, LeTourneau President Dale Lunsford and Rebecca Davidson.

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