As a parent, there are dates on the calendar that mark both the beginning and end of seasons in your child’s life. These are dates that bring opportunities for growth or change that will last a lifetime.

I’ve walked with my daughter through these moments - her disappointments, losses, achievements, graduations, and many more. Moments like the day we moved her into a dorm room and waited anxiously for her first phone call, letting us know how she is doing.

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However, June 17, 2018 is a date that I knew would change my daughter’s life forever.

It was the day she began as a cadet in the Tuskegee NEXT program. It was the day she began pursuing her private pilots license. It was a date of change that would last a lifetime.

What went through my mind on that day was, “Oh my God, Faith is going to be a pilot!”

But what does this change look like now? What's different about her? Is it the mentoring she’s received? Is it the new friendships? Is it knowing that there are others surrounding her with like minds, showing everyone that the unthinkable is possible? Is it being put among eagles?

No.

Is it meeting historians like the real Tuskegee Airmen? Is it the feeling that she has from the power of putting herself up into the air? What about the support she received from Tuskegee Next alumni who refused to allow her to even think about giving up? 

No.

It is the confidence she exerts as she walks - head held high.

And her parents are so proud of her. She knows that sometimes it looks like I’m going to explode with pride. And, her father can't wait for someone - anyone - to ask, "So, how's Faith doing?" He loves these opportunities to share about how proud he is of her.

And she knows that she has made this happen.

But did she? Yes, she did it through the Tuskegee Next. Because of this program, my daughter of color will move forward. She will not just follow a typical path, but will go where there is no path and blaze a trail.

- Mrs. Evelyn Little, mother of Private Pilot and Tuskegee NEXT alumna, Faith Little