A young African-American woman from New York, age 18, has made history by becoming the state’s youngest Black woman to receive a private pilot certification.
Ariel Messam recently obtained her Private Pilot’s license, proudly stating that she is the youngest black female in New York to do so.
She expresses her heartfelt gratitude to those who helped make it possible and acknowledges God’s blessings. Ariel also mentions that she began her aviation journey when she was 14 years old, and that after a few years and some financial assistance, she has now made it official.
Messam graduated from Aviation Career & Technical Education High School in Queens, New York in 2022, according to Black News. During this time, she not only graduated from high school but also became certified as an Aircraft Powerplant Technician. She also actively participated in varsity basketball.
She started her career as a Flight Simulation Instructor at Level Up and Take Off, a 501(c)3 organization founded by her brother, Anthony Messam, in New York City, after finishing her studies.
According to its website, the organization’s mission is to promote diversity in the aviation industry by providing underserved communities with exposure and flight training to cultivate future leaders.
Messam, who typically departs from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York, graciously shared a selection of photos and videos from her trips to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, following her remarkable announcement of making history.
Messam also became an ambassador for Girls Love to Fly, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, almost two months ago.
She expressed her admiration for the organization’s mission, which aims to empower women from diverse backgrounds, in an Instagram post.
Their primary goal is to assist aspiring female aviators by providing ongoing scholarship opportunities and facilitating exploration flights.
Previously, women primarily pursued careers as flight attendants, which they found to be the most appealing option within the aviation industry.
The role of piloting, on the other hand, was predominantly filled by men until women began to show interest in this field, aiming to foster diversity and fulfill their aspirations.
According to ABC News, there are fewer than 150 professional Black women pilots in the United States, where Messam is located, who hold airline transport pilot, commercial, military, or certificated flight instructor certificates.
Messam is committed to paving the way for other young Black women who look like her by highlighting a few Black female pilots who can serve as role models.