It is important to not only encourage our children to dream, but support their dreams as well. When young people are well supported by adults in their families and community they achieve amazing things.
Inspired by the Tuskeegee Airmen, young 15-year-old Kimberly Anyadike became the youngest black person to ever fly across the country of the United States, coast to coast. Anyadike flew a single-engine Cessna across the country from Compton, CA to Newport News, VA. She then turned around and returned to Los Angeles on Saturday, July 11. The flight took 13 days to complete.
The young pilot learned how to fly at the tender age of 12 years old thanks to Compton-based Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum. They offer aviation lessons during an after school program for disadvantage youths in the area, according to the Los Angeles Times.It was their plane Anyadike used for her record breaking trip.
According to the NY Daily News, the brave teenager came up with the idea for the trip on her own, the museum’s founder, Robert Petgrave, told the Times. “I told her it was going to be a daunting task, but she just said, ‘Put it on. I got big shoulders,’” Petgrave said.
Along for the historic ride were an adult safety pilot and 87-year-old Levi Thornhill, one of the Tuskeegee Airmen during World War II.
“They left such a great legacy,” Anyadike said of the U.S. Army Air Corps‘ all-black combat unit. “I had big shoes to fill. … All they wanted to do was to be patriots for this country. They were told no, that they were stupid, that they didn’t have cognitive development to fly planes. They didn’t listen. They just did what they wanted to do.”
About 50 Tuskeegee Airmen autographed the young pilot’s plane during her journey, the Times reported.“I wanted to inspire other kids to really believe in themselves,” Anyadike said.
We believe this is a wonderful achievement for the young lady. It is great to see she knows her history and allows it to inspire her to do more in her life. Hopefully, her achievements will continue to fan the flames of inspiration and inspire another generation to not only break the color barrier, but challenge greatness!
What do you think of the 15 year old aviation master?
Source: NY Daily News.