Summer camp encourages kids to look to aviation industry for their careers
“Being an African-American woman I feel like pilot and airport companies would definitely like to have me.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Dozens of young people are getting the chance to experience their love of flying through a summer camp being put on by American Airlines and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.
The group is encouraging students to look at careers in the airline industry, everything from being up in the flight deck to ground support.
It’s a pilot program in the purest sense of the word. A summer camp that encourages school-aged kids a chance to reach new heights - in this case, about 30,000 feet.
Students from varying backgrounds learned what it will take if they want to work in the airline industry. That includes everything from piloting the latest fleet of commercial jetliners to mechanics responsible for keeping them in the air.
The program with American Airlines sets out to encourage African American students to learn more about the industry in the hope of one day seeing some of them wearing captains’ bars even though many of them have never even been inside of a plane before.
Morgan Jackson, who is heading into the eighth grade, already has her eyes set on the captain’s chair.
“Being an African American woman, I feel like pilot and airport companies would definitely like to have me,” she said.
But before climbing up to the flight deck and grabbing the throttle, they’ll need to know the basics, like how to inflate a life vest in case of an emergency.
Pilots with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals said educating and encouraging young people through this program does keep many students on the right path and away from making bad decisions.
“My goal was to give back and give as much time and input as I could to change the trajectory of some of these kids,” said American Airlines pilot Timothy Brown.
And in many cases, it does make a difference. Some of these students already are planning a career in aviation.
“Education plus connections can really lift people out where they want to be.” pilot Michael Eechukwu said.
And some already have their minds made up.
“This would definitely be a pretty suitable job for me,” Jackson said.
Download the free WBTV News app for updates and breaking news.
Watch the latest WBTV broadcast here:
Copyright 2023 WBTV. All rights reserved.