Jade Esler knows a lot about determination.
Last week, on her 16th birthday, Jade became Australia’s youngest solo pilot. After three years of lessons she can now fly solo anywhere within 25 nautical miles of an aerodrome.
Jade’s dad is a pilot and Jade’s first flights were in a baby seat: she fell in love with flying and was determined to become a pilot herself.
Flying makes me feel empowered, happy and calm. It just feels right to be up there in control.
Take a look at Jade flying!
That achievement alone would be enough to make her a worthy girl hero but, actually, it’s not the best thing about Jade’s story.
The best thing, the most impressive thing, is that Jade paid for all those flying lessons herself, by starting her own business at just 13 years of age.
Having seen cupcakes being sold at a local market, Jade decided she could do it too. She registered her business, set up the website, completed all the necessary legal food handling requirements and her business, The Sugar Bite, was born.
Jade, with the help of her parents, has now made and sold over 20,000 cupcakes. And these are not your ordinary, everyday cupcakes: they are more cupcake creations like the Quad Choc, Salted Caramel and Lemon Curd cupcake with Jade always working to create new designs. “I love coming up with new flavours and ways to make them look appealing. At the moment that would be my chocolate sundae cupcake, or my cinnamon donut cupcake.’ Yum!
But Jade is not one to rest on past success. She is always looking for new ways to grow the business, selling her cupcakes at markets, through coffee shops and doing special orders for weddings, parties and events.
The business is still going strong and the profits will help Jade achieve her next goal of earning her private pilot’s licence and then a commercial licence – all by the time she is 18 and all while still going to school!
But Jade has an even more exciting goal. She is using her success to help inspire other girls to work to achieve their dreams.
‘I am also looking to increase my motivational speaking engagements, and am working on a plan to circumnavigate Australia in a plane. The plan would be to stop in rural towns, where I would present to local school children, encouraging them to chase their dreams.’
Determination and a desire to share and build other people’s success makes Jade a shining example of a girl hero. Go Jade!
‘I just completely believe that if you have a dream, and you have something to achieve, you need to go out and do it. It’s not just going to come to you. And there’s always a way to to do it, you’ve just got to find it.’
You will be be able to read more about Jade in the first Girl Hero Interview, a new section coming soon!