There is no age limit to achieve your dreams! No matter how big or small, you are the master of your own destiny! When it comes to changing the face of pilots, 17-year-old high school student Christopher Ballinger is doing just that. He’s one of the youngest black pilots in the country, thanks to the JROTC Air Force Flight Academy Program.
According to Fox 5, Chris confirmed he is licensed to fly any single-engine landing aircraft, which is the first step towards becoming a pilot. Christopher attended the eight-week Flight Academy program at Walla Walla University in Washington State. According to the university’s website, they offer three aviation degree options. During the program, students will learn how to fly, operate safely, and interact in the professional world of aviation.
In addition, students will get to fly and learn first-hand the challenges and rewards of operating an aircraft. Christopher, a rising senior at Sidwell Friends School, has a bright future. Teenagers plan to apply for admission to the Air Force Academy after graduation. He offers some advice for younger students interested in following in his footsteps, saying to keep an open mind about all the opportunities that exist!
Black people in aviation are in the news these days. As we previously reported, an American Airlines flight recently made history as it celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman to hold a pilot’s license. For the first time in the airline’s 96 years of existence, everyone involved, from ramps to gates, cockpits and cabins, is a Black woman!
Bessie Coleman’s niece, Gigi Coleman, said of her aunt’s legacy explaining: “My great-grandmother got her license two years before Amelia Earhart. She’s not in the history books. No one knows about her.”
Now everyone knows about Bessie!
Roommates don’t stop dreaming and reaching for the stars!