Tell me a little about yourself!
Hi there, I’m Gabriella! I’m currently a homeschooled junior in high school, but I also attend St. Philip’s College, where I’m currently pursuing an Occupational Skills Award in aircraft technology (in English, that basically means I’m learning how to fix aircraft when they go wrong!) My favorite subject would have to be history, but I also enjoy more STEM-related topics.
What do you like to do outside of school?
Outside of school, I’m actively involved with Civil Air Patrol, the Air Force’s Auxiliary. Civil Air Patrol, or CAP, has 3 missions: cadet programs, aerospace education, and emergency services. For a cadet, aerospace education and emergency services mean that you get to go flying, learn about aerospace and STEM, train to help with search and rescue, and volunteer in your community. Cadet programs means learning to follow, lead, teach, and – amongst other things – not completely fall over your feet when doing drill. I struggled with that one at first! I’m currently a member of the Alamo Composite Squadron (8500 Mission Rd Bldg. 675). We meet at Stinson Airport, one of the oldest operating airports in the US, which is pretty cool!
I also love to volunteer with organizations including the First Tee, the Commemorative Air Force, and my church. The Commemorative Air Force is probably the most exciting organization I volunteer with; we go flying, maintain WW2 warbirds, and right now we’re restoring a WW2 trainer that flew in the 1970 movie Tora Tora Tora! It can be very greasy work, but it’s always enjoyable!
How did you get involved in the First Tee? What has your First Tee experience been?
I joined the First Tee of Fort Worth a few years ago because my sister wanted to attend a summer camp and I got roped in (snacks every day helped reconcile me to the program, though). 2 years ago, my family moved to San Antonio and I enrolled in classes with the First Tee here, this time by myself! Since then, I’ve been able to attend classes, volunteer at events, and even help to teach.
What are your future goals? How is the First Tee helping you achieve them?
As you might guess from the paragraphs above, I like planes. A lot! Goals for the future include studying mechanical engineering and becoming a pilot, which means a very hectic schedule. The First Tee provides a sort of safety valve. I realized a while ago that I couldn’t dedicate all my time to practicing golf because of other obligations, but I also decided that I was going to enjoy playing golf whenever I could! The First Tee lets me do that. The coaches and participants create a stress-free environment where one can learn about golf and values, meet people, relax, and just have fun, all without having to be great at golf! So I would say that the First Tee is helping me reach my goals by letting me learn, have fun, decompress, and realize that you don’t have to be amazing at golf to enjoy it.