Inspiring Speaker and Author Who Shares Her Story of Surviving a Terrorist Attack
When elementary education major Jackie Ann Nink from Pasadena took a course entitled Abnormal Psychology in the fall of 1976, she had no idea that nine years later she would meet tragedy, and three of the most abnormal people on earth. She got her bachelor of arts in teaching from Sam Houston State University in…
When elementary education major Jackie Ann Nink from Pasadena took a course entitled Abnormal Psychology in the fall of 1976, she had no idea that nine years later she would meet tragedy, and three of the most abnormal people on earth.
She got her bachelor of arts in teaching from Sam Houston State University in 1977, taught regular and special education for seven years in Baytown, and decided to let her expertise take her to faraway places, including Norway and Egypt.
In 1985 she was teaching at the Cairo American School and returning to Cairo by plane after a Thanksgiving weekend trip to Greece. Ten minutes into the flight, three Abu Nidal terrorists hijacked the plane, setting off a gun battle that de-pressurized the cabin and forced it to land in Malta.
As part of their demand for fuel, the hijackers began shooting passengers. She was fourth in line. She was shot at point blank range, execution style, thrown from the plane and left for dead.
That in itself may have been a blessing.
After hours of negotiations, Egyptian commandos stormed the plane by using an explosive device that killed many on board. The hijackers detonated several hand grenades inside the cabin. As a result of the gunfire and explosions, 61 passengers and crew members died.
After five hours on the tarmac, drifting in and out of consciousness, she was taken to a Malta hospital where a surgeon was able to save her life.
Jackie Nink Pflug tried to teach school again after that and found out that she could not. She developed epilepsy as a result of her head wound, and in 2003 recovered from cancer. The perspective she will offer as this spring’s President Speaker Series guest is basically, “compared to what I’ve been through, most troubles are small.”
Her presentation is entitled “The Courage to Succeed.” Her book, Miles to Go Before I Sleep, is said to influence people’s attitudes, values and behaviors “long after the last page has been read.” She will speak at 11 a.m. Wednesday March 21 in the Beto Criminal Justice Center Killinger Auditorium.
Pflug said recently that the training she received at SHSU not only prepared her to teach but has helped her cope with the adversity she has faced.
“I had such a great experience there,” she said. “I had great teachers, I felt safe, I grew up a lot.”
Jackie Pflug now lives in Eden Prairie, Minn., with her husband and 9-year-old son. She has visited with Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office, been on the Oprah show twice, and travels throughout the United States telling her story and giving inspiration.
“Today she speaks and shares a message of hope, like few others do,” according to her publicist. “Her presentation boosts morale and inspires people to do and be their best on a daily basis. Her message is universal, touches hearts, and engages minds of all ages and backgrounds. People walk away with a renewed sense of spirit, purpose, and will-do.”
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Your audience will:
• Be inspired to take action
• Feel better about themselves and others
• Have a renewed sense of hope
• Be more courageous
• Leave with a strong sense of renewal as they face their day-to-day challenges
• Courage to Succeed
Jackie Pflug survived being shot in the back of the head in 1985 by hijackers. She calls her twelve year struggle with brain injury, learning disability, PTSD, depression, divorce, epilepsy, and visual impairment a “grateful journey.”
Jacki Pflug: Motivational Keynote Speaker
1 HOUR OR LESS