Fly for the Culture, a nonprofit organization that offers free introductory flight lessons and mentorships to diverse groups of children, hopes to increase the number of pilots from varied backgrounds.
Jerome Stanislaus is an African-American pilot and mentor who began working with the organization last year. In April, he sat down with CBS News reporter Michelle Miller to talk about his passion for mentoring children of color. He participates in Fly for the Culture because of the lack of diversity in the aviation industry.
“I told myself I would probably never be a pilot because I never saw a pilot that looked like myself,” he said about how the lack of representation affected his childhood.
According to the 2017 census from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people of color only make up 7 percent of U.S. pilots and flight engineers. Just 3 percent of that group are African-American.
Stanislaus was overcome with emotion speaking about the meaningfulness of this work.
“I love it,” he said while holding back tears of joy. “I really want to be able to make a difference and this is how I do it. It’s like my purpose.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.