Whilst on my journey, the desire to give back as always resonated with me. I have mentored and spoken to young people of different ethnic backgrounds who are keen on coming into this industry. During my time mentoring, I have shared all that I have learned in the industry. Giving tips on things like subject choices, attitude towards learning, explaining how aircrafts work and achieve flight. In doing this, I hope that they make better career choices and avoid the mistakes I made during my time. I was astonished as to how grateful and willing to learn they all were. It is also important to note that many of these young minds are dreaming of becoming pilots, engineers, air-traffic controllers you name it, and for many of them what I have achieved so far seemed farfetched until I showed them otherwise. Now imagine what that does to a young mind. Knowing that even against seemingly insurmountable odds, one can prevail, now that is a narrative that I would very much stand for.
I took my entrance exam for Leading Edge Aviation flight school, and I passed the rigorous tests. I was offered a place on the Airline Pilot Integrated course for a start date of 04/02/2021, which would last for 18 months. My training fees amount to an all-inclusive price of £99,500, which covers everything I need to complete the course from accommodation to learning materials. The challenge is having to raise these funds by myself or I run the risk of losing my place on the course, so any donations towards my campaign no matter how much would go a long way to help.
Since arriving in the UK in 2009, I have faced several challenges of being alone as a young black man and supporting my family back home. I have never been the type to shy away from hard work; instead, it has played a vital role in how far I have come. Working early and late shifts during my time at university to ensure I can still support my family back home, always having multiple jobs has been my reality for so long it has now become a norm for me. I know my story sounds a little too familiar that people from the less privileged background are forced not to aim as high due to monetary restrictions. It is a sad reality that only 7% of pilots worldwide are of black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds with the UK being under 1%. Still, it does not have to be that way. I intend to change this by giving even more when I become an airline pilot, mentoring more young people into the industry. I believe it takes a few brave ones to motivate the many to be brave. So here I am, taking a leap of faith. I hope my story and journey strikes a chord within you, one that takes you back to the child inside of us all that desired to achieve a dream that seemed impossible to the world but not to you.
- Geraldine greenaway
- Emeka Okafor-Obi
- Monisola Banatu
- Fern Taylor
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