Sarah Owens was barely into her second semester of UND’s Commercial Aviation program when she was thrown for a loop. The pandemic hit, students were sent home, the airline industry was grounded, and everything seemed to change overnight.
“Over the break, I started to think, ‘Oh no, I don’t know if this is still for me. Do I need a career that’s more flexible?’ I was having a college crisis, and I was worried,” she recalled. “Since the third grade, I was going to be a pilot, and I was going to fly at UND. I hadn’t really thought about a Plan B.”
But for all the worries and momentary panic, Owens found comfort in the support she’d encountered at UND.
“UND has such an incredible support system, especially for first-year students. They’re all about ‘Hey, we’re here for you, whatever you need.’ All my expectations were met, probably exceeded. I had a whole network of support, and everyone just made me feel connected.”
Today, Owens is working on her private pilot’s license as well as earning her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Airport Management, with a minor in Sustainability Studies.
“I’m so happy because I was able to put together two things I really love — aviation and caring for the environment,” she said. “It’s exciting. There’s so much innovation and technology that hasn’t even been discovered yet and so many different challenges and paths that I can take.
Read Sarah’s story and the stories of other inspiring leaders in action.