Meet Ann Lopachuk, a former Air Cadet with 624 Tisdale Squadron in Saskatchewan. Originally from Ukraine, Ann moved to Tisdale at the age of 12, and joined the Air Cadet Program in 2013, about 6 months after arriving in Canada. She quickly rose through the ranks and reached the rank of Flight Sergeant, before having to move to Saskatoon to pursue her post-secondary education.
Initially, she joined cadets upon the recommendation of her parents, who first saw youth participating in drill exercises in their cadet uniforms. At first, she only joined cadets to make her parents happy, but she quickly realized just how great the Cadet Program is. As a 12 year old, she had little knowledge of aviation and leadership. However, through the Air Cadet Program, she was able to discover her inner “aviation nerd”, and learned all about different leadership styles.
Throughout her 5 years as a cadet, Ann participated in a range of activities and training opportunities. She was a member of her squadron marksmanship team as well as a biathlete for several years. She also attended 4 summer camps— General Training, Basic Aviation, the Air Rifle Marksmanship Instructor course, and one as a staff cadet in Whitehorse. She notes that her most cherished cadet memories were made at these camps, and that her courses allowed her to make close friends from all across Canada— friends that are still very close today!
Today, she is working towards her commercial pilots licence, and hopes to be a pilot at an international airline. She also works as a Ramp Coordinator with Executive Aviation, directing and organizing ramp operations for WestJet, Flair, Swoop and Sunwing flights in Saskatoon. She says that the Air Cadet Program has helped her learn about the aviation industry, helping her realize her goal of being a pilot, and helping her become a strong, organized leader at the airport.
She says that the Air Cadet Program is very fun, and that it teaches youth about leadership, communication with a range of people, as well as discipline.