Inspiration can come from many places. Vaughn senior, Angela Wright ’20 didn’t have to look farther than her own father, Jeff, to spark her passion to become an aircraft mechanic or aircraft maintenance technician (AMT), which is also known as an airframe and powerplant (A&P) technician.


Growing up on Long Island in the charming waterfront village of Northport, Wright was introduced to aviation at an early age. Her father worked for British Airways and he would bring Angela along on the job during “take your child to work day” throughout her childhood. “I’m adopted,” Wright stated proudly. “I loved going to work with my dad and seeing firsthand how the aviation industry operated,” she said. “I knew early on that I wanted to be a part of the mechanical side of aviation.” Her father’s passion for mechanics spilled over on the weekends when he would work on his cars in the driveway. “I was by my father’s side throughout my childhood, learning all about car mechanics. He inspired me to learn more about the field.”


In high school, Wright enrolled in two automobile mechanics courses. Her excellent grades and passion for the field caught the attention of one of her instructors who recommended Vaughn College’s Aviation Training Institute (ATI) as a possible career path after graduation. “Up until that time, I wasn’t sure which direction to take for college. My instructor was instrumental in setting me on the right course by recommending Vaughn,” Wright explained.


In the fall of 2017, Wright enrolled in the Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) program at Vaughn’s Aviation Training Institute. As a female, Wright said she is one of a growing number of women entering the field of airframe and powerplant technology. “It’s empowering to see more women entering a field that up until now was predominantly male,” she states. “We are leveling the playing field as more women are entering the industry. The job opportunities are there. It’s a great thing.”


Working as an AMT comes with great responsibility. These specialized aircraft maintenance technicians work around the clock for the safety of travelers by ensuring every plane and train passes inspection before leaving for its destination. Wright explains how Vaughn’s ATI program is the perfect starting point where students can become a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified mechanic with an A&P rating to prepare for this in-demand, high-paying career of today. Did you know Boeing is forecasting the industry will need as many as 635,000 new aircraft maintenance technicians by 2036? And that’s on the aviation side alone.

Wright describes the ATI curriculum and her Vaughn professors as outstanding. She said the lectures and labs are the perfect balance to understanding the material and putting it into action. “I love my professors,” Wright said. “They are not only dedicated, but they go out of their way to ensure their students understand the material.” Living on campus has also been instrumental in her success at Vaughn. Wright explained how the convenience of being “close to home” plays a major role in staying focused and managing her time.


Wright is on track to graduate May 2020 and plans on earning her A&P certificate over the summer. “I’m excited to start my career,” Wright said. “My parents have been extremely supportive in my career choice. My father and I share a special connection, a common thread. He’s a great man and I’ve learned so much from him over the years. I hope to make him proud.”