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Meet Stephanie Johnson: Delta’s First Black Female Captain

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Last year, Stephanie Johnson made history by becoming Delta Airlines’ first African-American female captain.

Johnson, who made history twenty years ago by becoming the first Black female pilot for Northwest Airlines, has a trailblazing path that has long been in the making.

The Kent State University graduate was one of the first in her family to complete college and was a flight instructor for her university’s aviation program.

She held a number of part-time gigs before landing her history-making position at Northwest Airlines, including working at the local Blockbuster.

“For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with airplanes and would think, ‘What a great thing it would be to know how to fly,’’’ Johnson told Delta News Hub last month.

In terms of being a historymaker, Johnson says she just wants to inspired young people to pursue their dreams and more women to enter the aviation field.

“I feel a great sense of responsibility to be a positive role model,” she said. “There are so few women in this profession and too many women who still don’t think of it as a career option. When I was hired by Northwest Airlines, there were 12 African-American women airline pilots in the country at the major airlines, and I knew all of their names. This is a great career – it’s worth the hard work.”

 

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