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NEWS RELEASE Washington, D.C. August 11, 1998


Congressman Eni Faleomavaega announced today that he was extremely pleased to learn that Ms. Laura Fa'amoe Ale is among a handful of females and the only Samoan pilot in one of the major airlines in the United States, Delta Airlines.

Before joining Delta, Laura was once employed by American Samoa's own "Samoa Air."

She has been with Delta for over a year and routinely flies the domestic east coast route.

Ms. Ale's exceptional performance in a male dominated field, blazing the trail for many young Samoans has made the Congressman very proud.

"Here's a Samoan young lady, a product of our local education system, excelling in one of the most demanding jobs in the world. It is a remarkable example to all of our young people and truly a proud moment for Samoa that Laura has gone so far in her career," stated Faleomavaega.

Laura attended Matafao Elementary School & Junior High and went on to Samoana High School for three years but left Samoa to care for her mother, the late Sharon Stevens of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where she eventually graduated from high school in 1986.

Laura also helped to care for her elderly grandmother, Ruby Stevens. That experience helped mature her and kept her focused on her responsibilities.

After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1990 with a degree in aviation, she became a flight instructor for a short period, then took on a position as a pilot with the well-known "Samoa Air" company of American Samoa and quickly became captain.

After three years she worked for Continental Express Airlines and then joined Delta in 1997.

According to her mother, Mrs. Fuji Nomura-Ale, Laura's lead as the eldest of five girls and has inspired her younger siblings. One of them, Minna Nainiu Ale, is an accomplished architect in Colorado and the rest of her sisters in Samoa - -- Erika, Jacqueline and Tiffany --- have all been influenced by their eldest sister's accomplishments.

Their proud father is American Samoa Government's Treasurer Tifimalae Ale, of Fitiuta, Manu'a.

"I am extremely proud of Laura. Not only is she the first Samoan female pilot hired by a major U.S. carrier --- she is also only the fourth woman ever hired as a pilot by Delta Airlines," concluded Congressman Faleomavaega.

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