Emma Haynes Receives Amelia Earhart Award

Amelia Earhart Award recipient, Emma Haynes on the left, and Assemblyman Andy Goodell Photo by Daryl Simons Jr.

Newly-promoted to Cadet-Captain, Emma Haynes of the Civil Air Patrol was the recipient for the Amelia Earhart Award this year.

“When you get this award on behalf of Amelia Earhart, there’s a special recognition of what you have accomplished so far, and what we expect of you in the future,” State Assemblyman Andy Goodell R-Jamestown said as he was passing this award to Haynes.

Starting originally in 1941, CAP was created as the fifth branch of the Air Force, and its original duty was to patrol the shores of the Atlantic in search of possible invading enemies. Flash forward to modern times, the CAP provides local emergency services, aerospace education, and leadership.

At 17, Haynes displays a high level of maturity and aptitude. After nearly five years with CAP, Haynes will be assuming a new role, into a more executive level position, and Haynes expressed her enthusiasm for the new responsibilities that come with this promotion.

She stated that she is looking forward to conducting more group activities for CAP, particularly to have more hands-on training for the cadets. On top of that, she is already thinking about how she will mentor the current staff for the future as well.

“Hopefully, I can help them achieve that challenge,” Haynes said.

The Amelia Earhart Award marks the completion of Phase III of the CAP Cadet Program, recognizing excellence in all four areas of a cadet’s life: leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character. This award also challenges the cadets by making them pass comprehensive examinations on leadership and aerospace topics.

Haynes plans on applying to West Point and other ROTC scholarships for the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel, with aspirations to become an officer in the military someday.

Another cadet that was present, a year junior to Haynes, talked about a recent award that they won. Gavin Swanson, a 1st Lt. for CAP, explained what they did to win the Lt. Col Ruth Rowland Nichols, CAP Memorial Award for 2018-19 at the statewide Aerospace Display Competition.

“We made a tornado drone. If you think of the movie ‘Twister,’ you think of those little balls that they threw into the Tornado to collect all of the data. So we tried to take this into a real level and proof-of-concept level. We designed a drone made out of carbon fiber and Styrofoam wings that would fly into the photosphere, the center of the tornado, to gather data all the way up the storm. This is data that we have never gotten before,” Swanson said.

Swanson added that he trying to currently get his pilot’s license, with hopes to eventually become a commercial air pilot.

Lt. Col Ellen Maternowski is the Commander of this particular squadron NY 402, and she displayed her admiration for the strides that her current, as well as past cadets have made in life.

“I’ve had a cadet who became a security guard at the California and Mexico border. Another cadet went to Pensacola for college, came back and thanked me. Other cadets went into various branches of service. One cadet was with me for a year, left, and then one day his mother contacted me saying that he had joined the Air Force, and subsequently became a crew chief as the number 4 pilot in the Air Force with the Thunderbirds, which is one of their elite units,” Maternowski stated.

Cadet’s ages are from 12 and up. Adult members are from 21 and up. It is free to drop in on one of their weekly Thursday night meetings, memberships are $39 a year. The meetings are from 6 to 9 pm. For those interested, you can contact Lt. Col Maternowski directly by email at ellenj1942@gmail.com, or by phone 397-3864.

“Come and join us. It’s a great program, and it’s awesome to see these cadets go from shy individuals, to someone that is going places,” Maternowski said.