Getting to know Amelia (Part Two)
When we left off last with getting the scoop on Amelia, she was growing up into a wonderful young person. Since April 7th was World Health Day, it is only fitting we talk about how Amelia spent a few years of her twenties.
At age 19, Amelia attended Ogontz School near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ogontz school was a private education academy for women that operated from 1850 to 1950. Amelia was one of many fine young ladies that attended Ogontz during its 100 years of operation. After two years of attendance, 20-year-old Amelia traveled to Toronto, Canada to visit her sister Muriel. The year was 1917 and World War I was underway. Canadian soldiers were returning home injured and in need of medical attention. The hospitals and medical facilities were quickly overrun and the staff was outnumbered.
The war had yet to involve the United States and Amelia was faced with horrors she never thought possible. The sight of the wounded men compelled her passionate soul to help in whatever way she could. The kind-hearted Amelia didn't return to the United States and continue her schooling at Ogontz. Instead, she enrolled in a program to become a Nurse's Aide. The Voluntary Aid Detachment Program (VAD) consisted of doctors and nurses that trained volunteers such as Amelia to assist in caring for the wounded soldiers. By the year Amelia underwent her own training, the program had already successfully trained over 1,800 people. Through the Red Cross First Aid, Amelia enlisted as a nurse's aide at Spadina Military Hospital in Toronto.
While working there Amelia was able to meet and observe the pilots fighting in the war. “I did not understand it at the time, but I believe that little red airplane said something to me as it swished by.” It would seem that everything in Amelia's life, even her time as a nurse's aide, led her to her destiny as a great pilot.
The following year, Amelia returned to the United States and enrolled in premed at Columbia University in New York. In our next blog post, we will pick up from here and enter the next big chapter of her life!