There is a notorious lack of diversity in the aviation industry, but this man is using his passion for flying to encourage youngsters to pursue their dreams – no matter their race.
According to a 2017 census from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 7% of US pilots and flight engineers are people of color, while only 3% are African-American.
So as a means of being a positive role model for kids who face the same cultural difficulties as himself, Jerome Stanislaus gives free flights and mentorship to children – particularly kids of color.
“I told myself that I would probably never be a pilot because I actually never saw a pilot that looked like myself,” Stanislaus told CBS News.
“[But now,] I love it, I really do. I really want to be able to make a difference and this is how I do it,” he added. “It’s like my purpose.”
Stanislaus’s labor of love first started last year when he began working with a nonprofit called Fly for the Culture.
The organization has been trying to bring more diversity to the aviation industry by providing free flights and mentorship to youngsters.
In addition to pairing children with positive role models in the industry, Stanislaus also says that when kids are in a plane for the first time, their reactions are “priceless”.
(WATCH the emotional news coverage below or our international viewers can watch the footage on the CBS News website)
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