Topic - Overcoming Obstacles & Flying High to Success
Refilwe is South Africa's first female, black helicopter pilot, a social entrepreneur, part-time lecturer and an advocate of girls' education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education. She spent 10 years in the SA Police Services (SAPS) as a Helicopter Pilot, and is a qualified Drone Pilot, fixed-wing Pilot and Flight instructor.
She is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a council member of the Aeronautical Society of South Africa (AeSSA) outreach team, and a recipient of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship (AEMSF) for flight training. Her work through the foundation has led to Refilwe being recognized by BBC as one of the innovators in Africa, CNN Africa as one of the change makers, and many other awards.
Refilwe is also a Techwomen fellow, Obama Africa leader fellow, and a Bill and Melinda gates foundation goalkeeper. She is passionate about education having obtained a BSc (Biochemistry and Microbiology) at UCT; a postgraduate qualification in Business Administration, UCT Business Schools; and an MBA from the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of business science. Refilwe has served on several boards including being the vice-chairperson of the Domestic air service licensing council.
She is passionate about youth development in Africa, particularly the empowerment of girls. She is the founder of the Girls Fly Programme Africa (GFPA), an information and educational STEAM programme for primary, high school and Post-school learners with a focus on aviation and space technology. The programme includes the use of design thinking, technology, and innovation to shape, empower, enable, and support the next generation of makers and problem solvers in the aviation and space industry or any other STEAM-related field in Africa while entrenching the spirit of Ubuntu.
Don't miss this remarkable woman. Come and learn whilst being inspired!
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