Lauren Steele

Lauren Steele, a junior majoring in professional flight technology from Lapel, Ind.

Her goal: To be involved in mission aviation, flying to remote areas of the world to help people.

Inspired by Amelia: She wrote a paper in high school on Amelia Earhart and realized what a trailblazer Amelia was for women. Even though Lauren's grandfather had gone through Purdue's Aviation Technology program in the 1960s and was a pilot for Eastern Airlines, what really got her into the field was her first plane ride in eighth grade. "We went to D.C., and despite all of the sightseeing, the highlight for me was the flight."

Eye on the ball … or the sky?: Lauren was so fascinated by airplanes that she would look up as they flew overhead, much to the chagrin of softball coaches, who had to remind her to pay attention to the game, not the airplanes.

An early start: Lauren has been involved with Purdue aviation since before she became a student. She has been helping with Air Race Classic since 2005, when Purdue was host of the event. This year, she is team captain.

Fascinated by every flight: "Every time I fly, I get a revelation of how creative and unique God is, seeing this world He created from the skies!"

By Kim Delker