“Accepting Limitations, Growing Stronger”: Carolina’s Story

Meet Carolina:

Carolina first learned about PIRS when she saw an ad for our Women’s Leadership and Development program:


“I was very excited to join, because I wanted to practice my English, meet newpeople, and improve my presentation skills. I learned many valuable skills from the Facilitation Workshop, such as to have more confidence in myself, accept my limitations, how to present a topic to a group of people in an efficient and timely manner and how to prepare materials and the room for a successful presentation. I have always been afraid of public speaking, PIRS gave the confidence to perform a powerful presentation.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned from Sanzida and Anastasia [PIRS program facilitators] was that there is nothing wrong with accepting my limitations. I was terrified of saying the words “I DO NOT KNOW” to someone. I always felt this oppressing need of having to know everything so I would not look incompetent. My incessant search for perfection was exhausting. But thankfully I learned to manage my fears and anxiety with the support of my brilliant facilitators. Awareness is the path to discovering how to work on improving myself and find that inner peace I was looking for. PIRS helped create meaningful connections with a lot of people.”

After graduating from PIRS’ programs, Carolina became one of the three women to receive the George Sisters Bursary to pursue her education! She is currently finishing her first semester of BCIT’s Airport Operations diploma program:

“This diploma program is fantastic. I have learned amazing things. For starters, I do not see airports the same way I used to. Airports are these hubs of economic progress and opportunity for many people. It takes many people to make things happen at the airport. Many security and safety components, many regulations to comply and regulators to answer to when running an airport. I have learned about Airport Master Plans and how these plans take from 5 to 20 years to complete and that the many entities involved must work together to accomplish a common goal, provide outstanding services to the community and tourists, and provide job opportunities while being environmentally friendly. The relationship between Airports and airlines is very important. Airports provide services to Airlines, and those aircraft parking spots at airports are very expensive and hard to get. I am now slowly learning the struggle that airlines and airports go through to keep business profitable.

Now, let me talk to you about the airspace, and yes, I do not look it at the same way I used to. Airspace is divided in different zones and classifications. I learned this in my Air Traffic Control course. I always thought that aircraft could fly in any space of the airspace, of course with a clearance, but now I know that there are many zones aircraft fly into and restricted zones aircraft are not allowed to fly in. Aircraft need a clearance from ATC (Air Traffic Control) to fly into different zones. It is amazing and fun to learn this. Aircraft are guided navigational aids such as VORs that guide them to their destination. This program is challenging, it is high pressure and very demanding, but I love it, and I am really enjoying it.  In class we get to review many airplane crashes, the causes that contributed to the accident and how these unfortunate events have changed aviation history. The aviation industry has learned its lessons and it keeps on improving every single day.

I am thankful to PIRS and The George Sister Bursary for their amazing support. I am a professional who wants to contribute to the Canadian society by maintaining airports, aircraft and the public safe and sound.

We are beyond excited to see Carolina pursuing her interests and dreams, and we are eager to see the incredible things that she will continue to do!