True Value

Civil Air Patrol Cadet Receives Earhart Award

Assemblyman Andy Goodell presents the Amelia Earhart award to Hannah Brown. The ceremony took place at the Jamestown Airport. P-J photos by Carly Gould

After Emma Haynes received the Amelia Earhart Award in April, a new cadet was honored with award on Thursday — newly-promoted Cadet-Captain Hannah Brown.

“I’m pleased to be presenting this the award again so soon,” said state Assemblyman Andrew Goodell R-Jamestown. “Hannah embodies what the Civil Air Patrol is about.”

The Civil Air Patrol was created a week before the Pearl Harbor invasion in 1941 by citizens who were concerned about the defense of America’s coastline. The CAP pilots flew over 500,000 hours, sank two enemy submarines and rescued hundreds of crash survivors during World War II. Now, CAP is charged with three missions — aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services.

Once a cadet earns the Amelia Earhart Award, he or she is promoted to cadet captain and is challenged to lead and serve junior-ranking cadets. The award also allows the cadet to become eligible to represent the United States in the International Air Cadet Exchange.

“Before joining the program, I was unmotivated with any aspect of life,” Brown said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was on a boring path to nowhere.”

Brown states that she was shy and had a lack of confidence before entering the program. Now, she said, she has self-confidence and is a motivated public speaker. She now studies Chemical Engineering as well as Engineering and Management at Clarkson University.

Amelia Earhart herself was an aviatrix, a writer and champion for civil rights, setting many records in aviation’s infancy.

She disappeared when she attempted to be the first woman to fly around the world. When granting CAP permission to name the award in her honor, her sister Grace said that it would’ve been “the kind of award Amelia would have chosen herself.”

The Earhart Award marks the cadet’s completion of phase III of the CAP Cadet Program, and recognizes sustained excellence in all four areas of cadet life — leadership, aerospace, fitness and character.

“Today, I am confident in who I am because of this program,” Brown said. “It touched my heart and made me see my true value.”

Brown’s younger brother, as well as Haynes, the previous recipient of the award were also in attendance.

“The best thing about the program is the program,” Brown said. “It teaches us, it molds us and it changes us.”