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The Compton program teaches young black and brown people to fly

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Diversity: Compton program teaches young black and brown people to fly

By Sherri McGee McCovey

USA Today Special

  • A program in Compton, California teaches young black and brown people to fly.
  • People of color make up less than 3% of all aircraft pilots and combat engineers in aviation.
  • The program plans to soon offer courses in financial literacy, drones and mechanics.

Demetrius Harris still remembers boarding a commercial flight and being greeted by two African-American pilots in the cockpit.

“There was something powerful about seeing two people who looked like me do extraordinary things,” he says.

This flight inspired Harris to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a professional pilot. Today he is a contract pilot for a private owner, flying Gulfstream GIV and Hawker 800XP aircraft. And he passes on his knowledge.

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