Camila Turrieta, Class of '11
Bachelor of Science in Aircraft Operations
South Ozone Park, New York
As a child, Camila Turrieta watched planes fly over her home and dreamed of a career in aviation. When it came time for college, she knew the place for her.
"I came here for a visit in 2002 and from the first time I set foot on the College I wanted to go here," Turrieta says. "I always had Vaughn on my mind."
A native of Chile who immigrated to the United States at age 7, Turrieta needed no elaborate sales pitch to enroll at Vaughn. Passionate about flying, all it took was a look at the college's flight program and the opportunities it presented.
She began at Vaughn in September 2008 and graduated in 2011 with a bachelor of science degree in aircraft operations. She's targeting a career in military aviation with the Navy or Air Force once her citizenship application is complete. For now, she is pursuing her passion for aviation as an underwriter with Aero Consulting LLC, working out of their Manhattan office.
"You have to have a passion for what you do, and I certainly have a passion for flying," Turrieta says. "I've had it ever since I was young."
Like many Vaughn students, Turrieta balanced part-time work commitments and family responsibilities with school. Her typical day involved an early-morning shift driving for her mother's company, classes, and then evening work at the front desk of a Queens hotel.
In between, she found time to serve as president of Vaughn's chapter of Women in Aviation and as an officer in student government.
Of her role in Women in Aviation, she says: "I love to help people. One of the things I like to do is talk to younger kids about jobs and career paths in aviation."
Career paths that unfolded for her at Vaughn.
"Vaughn College has helped me achieve my goals," Turrieta says. "You're right here in the center of the world, in New York City, and when you come here you are not a number, you're a name."