Kristine Yaroschuk, a Maryland State Police helicopter pilot, will be the featured speaker at the Frederick Community College Moving Mountains speaker series on Wednesday, Jan. 11, from 7-8 p.m.

The series features inspiring professionals who share their life experiences and encourage teens and young adults to set the bar high in all areas of their lives.

The sessions are free and open to the public and will take place in the JBK Theater, located inside the Visual & Performing Arts Center on campus.

Yaroschuk has been a civilian pilot with MSP for the last nine years, and was the only female pilot until last year. Based at Trooper 3 in Frederick, Yaroschuk flies medics to a variety of different scenes and situations. She gets dispatched to help trauma victims, assist in search and rescue operations, perform disaster assessment, collect evidence, and support the MSP in other ways.

Prior to her role with the MSP, she was a pilot for Era Group Inc. in the Gulf of Mexico, where she flew employees to and from oil platforms and rigs.

Yaroschuk didn’t know she wanted to become a pilot until her early 30s. She had held numerous other jobs including as a dog trainer, coffee shop manager, caterer, waiter, and facilitator for organizational development workshops. Yaroschuk credits an experience she had while living in Los Angeles with giving her the motivation to make a career change. After taking up paragliding, she witnessed a handful of accidents that resulted in serious injuries. During one accident, she had to call 911 from a mountain to help an injured paraglider.

“As I was providing ground support to the injured person, I saw the helicopter approach, felt the air from the blades, and watched as the EMT was lowered down,” Yaroschuk said. “That’s when I realized what I was supposed to do in life.”

After that experience, Yaroschuk immediately started researching jobs and training opportunities for pilots and quickly changed the course of her professional life. Her favorite aspect of her career now is the ability to help people.

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