Imagine this, You sit at a terminal all day watching dots on a map. your main goal? Making sure that each of these little specks don't hit each other. Sounds easy right?

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When you factor in weather, each of the dots moving at a different speed with different destinations in mind it can get down right stressful. For one sailor with Amarillo roots this isn't just some fantasy, It's a daily task and one that she doesn't take lightly.

Meet Rebecca Higby

PO2 Patricia Rodriguez/US Navy

Rebecca Higby is an Amarillo native who graduated from Randall High School back in 2014. While she didn't enlist right away she admits that “I joined the Navy for the opportunity to learn a new trade and see the world.” Her current station is Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida which is clearly a much different world than the Texas Panhandle, The station which started it's operations during World War II continues to serve as a major player in the Navy being it's largest installation in the Southeastern U.S. It's missions include anti submarine operations and fighter training.

She Keeps The Airspace Clear

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So what does Ms. Higby do at the installation? Hands down one of the most important jobs in aviation. While pilots train for combat and continue to hone their skills. It's her responsibility as an air traffic controller to make sure that each person under her watch is able to take off and land successfully without incident which also includes tracking each aviator in the air not only with other naval aviators but with civilian traffic as well and with Florida being a high tourism destination there is certainly plenty to keep an eye on. The goal of any air traffic controller including hers is to make sure that everyone can get back home to their families at the end of the day.

In her own words... “I've taken the lessons I learned working in the corporate world in Amarillo and Lubbock,” said Higby. “I apply the professionalism and organization from that experience with me into my current role.”

If you ever feel like one person can't make a difference in daily life, take a page from Higby. This Panhandle native shows that one person can and while she may not be sitting in the plane her thoughts, planning and actions are just as important and her service is greatly appreciated.

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