Miranda Goodison has wanted to be a pilot since she was 11, and as she graduates from Loy Norrix at age 17, she’s already well on her way to reaching the sky.
Goodison has interned at the Air Zoo and dual enrolled at Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She’s already taken ground school to learn the basics of flight, career resource management to learn how cockpits run, and aviation safety.
When she officially starts at WMU in the fall, she’ll already be a second semester freshman. Goodison has been a Girl Scout for 13 years. When she was 11 she attended a day camp that included a field trip to the WMU Aviation School in Battle Creek.
“We were on the tarmac and oh my goodness. I got the spark in my heart,” Miranda said. “They gave me an application. When my mom picked me up from camp, I showed her this huge poster of an airplane and I said, ‘I’m going to be a pilot.’ She said she saw something different in me when I talked about aviation and becoming a commercial pilot.”
Goodison attended private school and a charter before coming to Loy Norrix as a freshman. She said it was her mom who thought it would be good for her to experience a public school, which would help her as she thought about what kind of college experience she wanted. It wasn’t an easy transition.
The size was intimidating — suddenly she was in a class that was as big as her entire school had been.
But, she said, she came to enjoy the diversity of people at Norrix and the wide variety of extracurricular activities, which have both helped her become a more well-rounded person. In addition to being in Girl Scouts she has been a volunteer at the Air Zoo, in the marching band as a color guard, participated in Jeter’s Leaders, sang choir, swam as a freshman, tried Peace Jam and forensics.
“I really just wanted to dip my hand in as many pots as I could. I wanted to be a jack of all trades,” she said.
What really excites her however is the future. Her voice rings with excitement when she ponders a career as a pilot. She loves the idea of traveling and breaking barriers.
“I want to see as many places and sites as I can — not to mention that my office is going to be in the sky,” she said. “I can’t think of anything cooler or more inspiring. And I am going to be a woman in my career field, where only 6 percent of commercial pilots are women. I’m excited to think about upping that number.