It all began with a phone call from the Women’s Skydiving Network (WSN), a foundation supporting the growth of female leaders and mentors, and working to increase the total number of women in skydiving. The initial specific focus was to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the 19th amendment that secured the right to vote for women in the United States in some spectacular way. Our hope was also that we would capture the attention of bigger media and help to mobilize the vote in 2020.
We did just that.
With the help of the WSN and other champions for women, the celebration of this centennial started as a single demonstration jump into Nashville, Tennessee, on August 18th, 2020, the day the 19th amendment was fully ratified. And another into Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, NY, flying with yellow roses to land right by Alva Belmont’s mausoleum on August 26th, 2020, 100 years to the day the 19th amendment was signed into law.
Our efforts were featured on the TODAY show, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, multiple syndicated new stations and popular print publications.
Highlight has since grown into a full professional demo team, comprised of 13 of the best skydivers in the world, now doing jumps into events and stadiums across the country, partnering with different social impact groups working to amplify more messages that matter.
Highlight cares deeply about being active allies for equality in all its forms – women’s rights, anti-racism, LGBTQ+ inclusion, etc.
Whether sharing their message by flying flags, smoke, beautiful streamers or other props, the team adds significant difficulty to their skydives, showcasing their individual and collective skills. The Highlight team strives to support women and other marginalized groups to be bold and brave in their own ways, to challenge themselves into action, and to encourage us all to use our voice and use our vote.
Maxine Tate describes her experience on the team as an, “opportunity to use skydiving as a metaphor for what is possible if you remove all boundaries, all limits, all doubts.”
Highlight Pro Skydiving Team consists of all-female, elite skydivers, and there truly is no other team like it. Collectively, they have over 200,000 skydives and each of them average 20 years of experience in the sport. All members express their love and appreciation for the team’s ability to open the eyes of women, skydiving or not, to what is possible and, “that bravery is a state of mind that everyone can tap into” (Hannah Betts).
The team is led with honesty, integrity, and vulnerability. Every member knows that bravery doesn’t always mean the big jump into the stadium, that oftentimes it is the small stuff that adds up over time into the big impact.
Keep showing up and see what it builds into for you too.
Co-founder, Melanie Curtis shares, “The team’s core mission is to inspire women and girls to live bold brave lives of their own design. By literally doing what so many people think women could never do, in our case landing our parachutes with smoke and streamers in tight spaces or in front of thousands of people… our hope is that in seeing us, in realizing THAT is possible… that we serve to open women and girls’ minds to think and dream bigger for themselves. Maybe they join us in skydiving if they are inspired to jump, or maybe they take their inspiration into their family or community or their own work. No matter how they take it forward, it’s a win.”
Highlight can be hired for demonstration jumps and keynote speaking. Reach out HERE.