Representation matters everywhere, especially in the workforce. But for young Black girls who dream of flying planes, it isn’t easy to find role models who look like them.
Less than 1 percent of all professional pilots in the U.S. are Black women. That’s why many of them are teaming up to raise that number by opening up the cockpit to aspiring aviators of color!
These awesome women make up Sisters of the Skies, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing more Black female pilots to the industry. They accomplish this by providing scholarships, mentorship, and a supportive community to girls of color who are hoping to earn their wings.
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Through the organization’s mentorship program, professional fliers are able to work with student pilots. Not only do they bring them closer to their dreams, but they also show them they belong in the captain’s seat!
In the cockpit, students get to experience firsthand what a pilot’s job entails, including planning flights, working flight controls, and communicating with air traffic control. They even get to fly in a jet!
For Delta pilot Monique Grayson, it’s heartwarming to see the transformations when the girls realize they can, in fact, make their dreams come true.
“These girls come in and they’re really shy,” Monique told GMA.
And then after the day ends, they’re bursting with energy and have a thousand and one questions. And then the even better part of it is, you get the emails that say, ‘Oh my gosh, my daughter participated in your event, and look, she’s doing her first solo,’ or, ‘My daughter came to your event, and she’s so interested in flying we’re looking at flight schools.’
With layoffs and furloughs coming in the wake of COVID-19, there will be even fewer women of color in the cockpit. But that won’t stop Sisters of the Skies from training and inspiring their future coworkers.
They’re used to overcoming adversity, after all! And even in this time of uncertainty, they’re sure of the positive impact they’re making.
What a wonderful way to empower the pilots of tomorrow! Keep up the great work!
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