HESPERIA – Adapt and overcome is the motto of Lieutenant Valerie Cappelaere Delaney, a Navy fighter pilot who died at the age of 26 when piloting a jet that crashed during a training mission. Shadowridge teacher Barbara Jacobs and her students authored Wings for Val: Memoir of a Young Female Pilot, and are now using the sale proceeds for women who want to become pilots.
Jacobs and her high school English students attended an aviation education program where they viewed a photo display of Delaney. They went on to meet Doreen Cappelaere, Delaney’s mother and the founder of the Wings For Val Foundation, a nonprofit that awards scholarships through Women in Aviation International (WAI) to young women pursuing ambitious aviation careers.
Jacobs thought it would be an interesting real-life class project to write a book.
“As my students and I investigated Val’s life, we noticed there were challenging obstacles that pre- and young teens of today could relate to,” said Jacobs. “Overcoming those life challenges was inspirational for my students. So, instead of a short bio on the tragedy of a young adult Navy pilot, an inspirational message of triumph evolved. The text then became a memoir of Val’s life from girlhood to womanhood.”
After more than three years of writing and research with the guidance of Jacobs and school history teacher and author, Jim Hoffmann, their work came to life as these students and Cappelaere presented a recent book launch.
One hundred percent of the book’s proceeds will go to the Wings For Val Foundation. Cappelaere said the foundation has awarded 29 scholarships worth over $106,000 to young women who want to become pilots since its 2015 inception.
About Wings for Val: Memoir of a Young Female Pilot
Navy Lieutenant Valerie Cappelaere Delaney (simply known as Val) describes her life trials and struggles, including self-esteem issues, being bullied, hanging with the wrong crowd, and her ultimate decision to “adapt and overcome” – to become something spectacular – a US Navy jet pilot! Val takes the reader on a wild ride as she recounts growing up as the middle child of three daughters, attending the US Naval Academy, and completing arduous flight training, while teaching readers that with prayer, love of God, family, and friends – anything is possible through hard work and perseverance.
For more information about Wings for Val: Memoir of a Young Female Pilot https://www.amazon.com/dp/1957058692