Friday, April 20 , 2018, 8:17 am | Fair 57º


Founder of A Different Point of View Honored with Prestigious Funding Award

Five more local, underserved teens will be able to participate in a year-long aviation mentorship program that will prepare them to (literally) pilot their own futures, thanks to a prestigious funding award presented to the program’s founder.

Lynn Houston
Lynn Houston

At a private awards luncheon held April 26 in Santa Barbara, Lynn Houston, founder and president of Santa Barbara-based A Different Point of View, was honored with the Adrienne Hall Emerging Leadership Award from the Southern California affiliate of the International Women’s Forum.

Houston received a standing ovation and a check for $5,000 in funding that will be used for student scholarships for the innovative, life-changing nonprofit program.

The Southern California affiliate of the International Women’s Forum recognized Houston, a former airline captain and current marketing coordinator for the Santa Barbara Airport, for her excellence in leadership and contributions to society.

“The goal of A Different Point of View is to empower youth who lack the belief that they can succeed in this world,” Houston said. “Through professional flight lessons, leadership and self-awareness training and interaction with aviation professionals, students at A Different Point of View gain a new belief, not only in their abilities to succeed, but in their abilities to become their very best selves.”

Since its inception, A Different Point of View has worked with a diverse group of more than 300 students ages 14 to 19, including youth emerging from the juvenile justice system. The program has been able to inspire youths from all walks of life throughout Santa Barbara County and help them raise their self-confidence.

A Different Point of View has also helped raise their belief that they have the ability to succeed in the world, leading to brighter overall futures and opportunities for careers in all aspects of the aviation industry.

“The opportunity to see your life from a different point of view can in fact engage, inspire and transform youth to become their very best selves,” Houston said.

Houston has traveled her own path of transformation, from her time spent as a teen runaway to guiding teens to their own bright futures. She began her career as an actor in New York City, and after a one-woman show took her across the country to Los Angeles, she found Hollywood and was able to build a unique career path in the entertainment industry as a professional photographer, with 13 years of experience in theatre, television and movies as a still, portrait and concert photographer. She worked with a diverse group of performers, directors and companies, including Diana Ross, Jane Fonda, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Vanessa Redgrave, Etta James, Liza Minnelli, Mick Jagger, Robin Williams, Christopher Reeves, Susan Sarandon, Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Altman.

Following a life-changing flying experience in Africa, Houston shifted her course to aviation, ultimately serving as chief pilot and instructor for an FAA-approved private flight school in Santa Monica and ultimately a captain for SkyWest Airlines with over 8,000 North American flight hours, including United Express and Delta under the SkyWest banner. She ultimately “landed” in Santa Barbara and joined the Santa Barbara Airport marketing staff in 2007.

Still determined to earn a college degree, Houston earned a Media Arts Certificate in 2010 from Santa Barbara City College, achieving President’s Honor Roll & Phi Theta Kappa. In 2011 Houston graduated from Antioch University Santa Barbara with a bachelor of arts degree in liberal studies.

“Lynn not only exemplifies visionary and inspirational leadership but translated into action that positively impacts the community. We celebrate her extraordinary example of giving back to our society,” said Diana Ingram, president of the Southern California affiliate of the International Women's Forum.

The 30 members present at the award event — Southern California women at the top of their fields — included Ingram; top Los Angeles family law practitioner Patricia Phillips, J.D. the first woman to be elected President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association: Vicki Riskin, President of Antioch University Foundation; and Brooke Knapp, an American aviator, entrepreneur and realtor, best known for setting or breaking more than 100 world aviation speed records and recipient of the Federal Aviation Award for Extraordinary Service.

— Angel Pacheco is a publicist representing A Different Point of View.

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