By Buddy Blouin
Women and other minority gender groups aren’t always represented as they should be within the aerospace industry. For pioneer Dawn Brooke Owens, her friends founded the Brooke Owens Fellowship in 2017 to honor her life and help those who are in need get a jumpstart on their careers. The U.S. Air Force Academy is also encouraging its members to apply, despite unnecessary disparagement.

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What Is the Brooke Owens Fellowship?

This program was created to honor the life of Dawn Brooke Owens and to help young women and gender minorities receive opportunities in the world of aerospace. Founded by Brooke’s three personal friends and aerospace experts Lori Garver, Cassie Kloberdanz Lee, and William Pomerantz, the program is guided by expert leaders positioned to help those entering the industry. As a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the Brooke Owens Fellowship continues to be inspired by Brooke’s legacy and has helped hundreds connect with high-profile companies, including Airbus, Lockheed Martin, and SpaceX, to name a few. Networking and experience are provided to those chosen for the program, as participants are afforded not only great opportunities but mentors positioned to help them grow. As a fellow, you’re exposed to the aerospace industry in a nearly 12-week summer course. Through projects, networking, and special events, this immersive, hands-on experience is unlike anything else.

Who Can Apply

The Air Force Academy recently promoted the fellowship, and some concerns following the news of the connection with the Brooke Owens Fellowship centered on the USAF’s focus on diversity. While it’s true that the program focuses on minorities, there are still plenty of other opportunities for cisgender men. As stated on the official website: “People of your gender are underrepresented in aerospace. If you are a cisgender woman, a transgender woman, non-binary, agender, bigender, two-spirit, demigender, genderfluid, genderqueer, or another form of gender minority, this program is for you. If you are a cisgender man, this program isn’t for you… but we encourage you to check out our sister programs, the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship, the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program, and the Zed Factor Fellowship!” Several programs for all genders can help bolster the careers of cisgender men, and the purpose of the Brooke Owens Fellowship Program continues to be minorities for a great reason: They need help. Even using statistics that paint the aerospace industry in the brightest of lights show that there's a huge disparity between men and other genders within the industry. Cisgender men can account for as high as 76% to nearly 89% of all of the workers in the aerospace industry. This is yet another reason programs such as this are necessary for aerospace companies and the U.S. military. When more people get an opportunity to advance themselves, we all win, and when it comes to national security matters, improving our talent pool is a win-win situation.

How Competitive Is the Brooke Owens Fellowship?

As this is a great opportunity, it’s no wonder that the Brooke Owens Fellowship acceptance rate is highly competitive, as the selection process is difficult. The Brooke Owens Fellowship salary, networking opportunities, and hands-on experiences make this program a very unique and highly desired position. If you fit the criteria and are interested in growing within the aerospace industry, the Brooke Owens Fellowship is a phenomenal opportunity. Apply by October 10, 2022.

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Image: brookeowensfellowship.org




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