Irving High senior Natalia Campos became interested in engineering and airplanes as a middle school student, but her dreams became a reality upon entering high school and the aviation program. This program, exclusively offered at Irving High School, exposes students to the various fields of the aviation industry. 

“The program provides students with invaluable resources, the opportunity to network with aviation professionals and real-world applications,” says Campos.

Since joining the program, Campos says she’s grown as a scholar. Not only has she become more passionate about career and college readiness for herself, but she sees the same in her peers as well. 

“Whether it’s aviation or engineering, preparing students for the real world now is what helps them hit the ground running as they reach college and beyond,” she adds. 

The aviation program is a part of Irving ISD’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) initiative, which provides students the hands-on experience needed to be successful after high school in their chosen field of study. Campos decided to explore the maintenance side of aviation studies where she gained knowledge of fixed and rotary winged aircrafts. One of the benefits of enrolling in the maintenance courses at Irving High is the opportunity to transfer credits to the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) technical school in Irving. 

“Even if students have no interest in AIM, taking these courses looks great on resumes and opens the door of opportunity for other schools outside of the local area,” says Campos. 

After completing her high school education next May, Natalia plans on becoming an Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) mechanic to repair and inspect aircrafts. 

As a young woman in the field of aviation, Campos credits other women in the field as her inspiration including her instructors at Irving High, Rachel Easterling and Chedel Townsend, as well as the first Salvadoran female commercial pilot, Susana Ibarra.

“It’s a reminder that it’s not just a man’s world,” she adds. “Anyone regardless of race or gender can thrive in aviation.”

If you’d like to learn more about aviation or other CTE programs, visit