Marc-Anthony Colon

Marc-Anthony Colon

I chose the Tuskegee NEXT program because of its strong focus and intensity towards the cadet’s success. I feel that Tuskegee NEXT is the perfect opportunity to jump-start my career as a professional pilot.

Most of all, I chose Tuskegee NEXT because of the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and all that Tuskegee Next does to keep that legacy alive.

Gelila Getachew

Gelila Getachew

I chose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT because of my commander at my school. He announced the program and where it originated from, and it grabbed my attention.

Elissa Gibson

Elissa Gibson

The Tuskegee NEXT program means an opportunity: To follow my passions, grow, acquire skills and resources, and an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Tuskegee Airmen.

The Tuskegee Airmen are significant not only for what they have done for this country but also because they are proof that a person can do anything they want to if they put their mind to it. Despite the obstacles of oppression that they faced, the Tuskegee Airmen were able to thrive and push forward, becoming role models for many like me.

Brandon Hampton

Brandon Hampton

I discovered the Tuskegee NEXT program in the summer of 2018. I thought it would be an honor to be able to carry on the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. I also applied to Tuskegee NEXT because I believed that it would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about aviation as well as fly. I also believed that Tuskegee NEXT would help me achieve my long term goals.

Michael Harris

Michael Harris

I applied to Tuskegee NEXT to achieve my first step towards the goal of becoming a commercial pilot. It is an honor for me to be a part of the legacy, tradition, and pride of the Tuskegee Airman and what they embodied.

Aaliyah Jones

Aaliyah Jones

I chose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT because I wanted to further my aviation studies.

Ethan Meisenburg

Ethan Meisenburg

I heard about Tuskegee NEXT when I visited Illinois Aviation Academy with my family. I had once met a Tuskegee Airman and was fascinated by his story. I knew it would be a great honor to take part in the Tuskegee NEXT program and that it would help me reach my future goal of becoming a pilot.

Alex Miller

Alex Miller

I applied to the Tuskegee NEXT program because I saw an incredible opportunity to take a large step forward toward my ultimate goal of becoming a commercial pilot. Also, it is a great way to help continue the Tuskegee Airmen's legacy by helping increase the number of black pilots flying in the world.

Malachi Neal

Malachi Neal

I chose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT because of the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. They did not just fight in World War II. They fought for the opportunity for people like me to fly. In honoring their legacy, I will be the first pilot in my family.

Nina Shack

Nina Shack

Tuskegee NEXT is the only aviation academy that I have attended that is designed to bring awareness to the black excellence displayed by the Tuskegee Airmen.

For years, I've studied their legacy, and knowing that they proved all of their doubters wrong when every odd was against them motivates me. This program allows me to honor and protect their rich history.

Kirsten Smith

Kirsten Smith

I chose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT because it gives someone like me an opportunity. Without Tuskegee NEXT, I would have to wait to obtain my private pilot's license. But, with the help of this program, I will obtain my license before graduating from high school. With a head start like this, I can work on my instrument rating before I go to college.

I also chose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT with the hope of connecting with individuals that have the same interests and ambitions that I have.

Jessica Vargas

Jessica Vargas

Being a Tuskegee NEXT cadet is a blessing, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life learning new things and finding new heights from which to soar.

Paityn White

Paityn White

I chose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT because I want to attend Tuskegee University after high school. I knew this program was a way that I could start my aviation career before college begins, and that it would help me carry on the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Thadd Wordlaw

Thadd Wordlaw

I chose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT because the program provides an amazing opportunity to accomplish major milestones on the way to an aviation career.

Jesus Cano

Jesus Cano

Age: 17
Hometown: Melrose Park, IL
School: Triton College
Year: Class of 2020

Career Aspirations:
Airline Pilot

Hobbies & Interests:
I love playing soccer and working out, and a new interest in watching videos on aviation - which is really fascinating!

Organizations/Clubs:
Spanish Club

Why are you passionate about aviation?
Ever since I was a little kid I used to see airplanes fly above me and I thought it was amazing. I never thought it would be possible to pursue a career in aviation until I learned about Tuskegee NEXT and the amazing opportunity they provide.

What is your future aspiration?
My future aspiration is to transition from a private pilot to a professional airline pilot.

Why did you choose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT?
I chose Tuskegee NEXT because it will expose me to the fundamentals of the aviation industry as well as teach me essential life skills.

Seth Walters

Seth Walters

Age: 17
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
School: Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School/ Spring Theory High School
Year: Class of 2019

Career Aspirations:
Upon completion of this program, I will be a senior in high school where I will then apply to aviation universities. My next plan is to go to college and major in aviation to become a commercial pilot for a major airline.

Hobbies & Interests:
Poetry, dancing, singing, drawing, and video games.

Organizations/Clubs:
Civil Air Patrol – Brandywine Squadron, Achievers Program, Kappa/ Links, National Honor Society

Why are you passionate about aviation?
I have wanted to become a pilot since I first step on a plane at the age of 5. It is all I can think or dream to become.

What is your future aspiration?
My future aspiration is to be a commercial pilot for a major airline.

Why did you choose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT?
I chose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT because it gives an inner-city teenager, like me, an opportunity I would have never been able to experience. This program gave me an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of something great and historic. I can share this experience with other people. I was able to gain another family away from home and friendships that will last forever.

Phar-I Merchant

Phar-I Merchant

Age: 17
Hometown: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
School: St. Croix Educational Complex
Year: Class of 2019

Career Aspirations:
Pilot, Air-Traffic Controller, Aircraft Mechanic

Hobbies & Interests:
In addition to my passions of traveling and aviation. I love to play family games, basketball and explore the roots of different genres of music. My strong fascination with history and cultural advancements allow me to become a better mentor as I continue to uplift under-privileged youth.

Organizations/Clubs:
Boys Scout of America, America Youth Soccer Organization, Virgin Islands Chapter Tuskegee Airmen, St.Croix Mighty Marching Barracudas, Future Business Leaders Of America, National Junior Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, SCEC Football, SCEC Soccer

Why are you passionate about aviation?
Being able to travel and see different sights from the sky was always something that I liked to do, and the field of aviation was a great career in which I could pursue this passion.

What is your future aspiration?
My future aspiration is to obtain my Private Pilots License so that I may travel to various and distant places that I’ve never been before. It is said that your job should be something that you love to do, and you would feel like you haven’t worked a day in your life because it is one thing you enjoy doing.

Why did you choose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT?
I felt Tuskegee Next would be that foundation in which I could stack my building blocks to success and help me towards my future goals and aspirations in life. I’m appreciative to be given this opportunity to start from this young age in which most young people don’t have the opportunity to do so.

Mya Coley

Mya Coley

Age: 19
Hometown: Chicago, IL
School: University of Missouri-Columbia
Year: Class of 2021

Career Aspirations:
I aspire to be a commercial pilot, as well as an entrepreneur. I hope to use my passion to fly, to open many doors and establish a flight facility to continue to support my community in the ways Tuskegee Next has helped me.

Hobbies & Interests:
I love playing games like basketball and exploring the roots of genres of music. I also enjoy the opportunity mentoring gives me to have an impact on the lives of others.

Organizations/Clubs:
Leadership Board of Mizzou Black Women Initiative; Member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc; Lipstick Saints Ambassador; Vasey Scholar

Why are you passionate about aviation?
As a young girl I have always been fascinated with planes. I love the science behind the concepts of flight.  Bessie Coleman has always been a role model to me. I admired her drive to follow her passion and defy all the social conflicts that went against her. My passion for aviation grows as my pursuit, and comfort of making history rises.

What is your future aspiration?
In the future I hope to establish a flight school. I would love to introduce more minorities to the field of aviation. Through my passion for aviation, I aspire to manage my own aircraft business. Aviation is not a well-known career in the African American community. Therefore, by owning my own practice in this field, I hope to inspire other minorities to join me in this journey.

Why did you choose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT?
My senior year of high school; I was graced with the opportunity of gaining Tammara Holmes as a mentor. Throughout the year, I learned more about the Tuskegee Airmen and the Tuskegee NEXT program. I knew that this program would be the opportunity of a lifetime. The Tuskegee NEXT program encourages my passion, dedication, and hard work to achieve my goal of becoming a commercial pilot

Jonathan Dixon

Jonathan Dixon

Age: 18
Hometown: Smith Station, AL
School: Tuskegee University
Year: Class of 2022

Career Aspirations:
I hope to become a Naval Aviator in the U.S. Navy or an aerial firefighter.

Hobbies & Interests:
Flying gliders, playing soccer, going hiking, and enjoying time with my family and friends

Organizations/Clubs:
I’m currently a 2nd Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol, and a Midshipmen in the NROTC program at Tuskegee University.

Why are you passionate about aviation?
I find aviation to be an amazing challenge that can be difficult, but very rewarding. I personally enjoy expanding my knowledge and developing myself as an aviator and a person. The thrill of trying to be precise in my flying is why I’m passionate about aviation. It forces me to keep improving and learn no matter how experienced I am.

What is your future aspiration?
Whether I’m landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier or dropping water on a wildfire, my main goal as a pilot is to inspire those who don’t know about the beauty of flying. I feel as though many people are afraid of flying, but with a little knowledge and a flight or two, I believe I can be the spark that convinces people to begin their journey in aviation.

Why did you choose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT?
I chose to apply to the Tuskegee NEXT program because of the legacy it follows. I find the Tuskegee Airmen as being brave men who were able to overcome the most difficult of challenges. I want to fulfill an opportunity that would not have been available, if not for the actions of such great men. I personally look up to the Tuskegee Airmen, and inspire to be like them. I applied to the program because I strive for excellence.

Trent Williams

Trent Williams

Age: 18
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
School: Middle Tennessee State
Year: Class of 2022

Career Aspirations:
Aviation, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): Drones

Hobbies & Interests:
Public Speaking, Chess, Basketball, and Fishing

Organizations/Clubs:
Aircrafts Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA); Women In Aviation (WAI); Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA); Aircrafts Owners and Pilots Association AV8RS Youth; OBAP (Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals); Independent Youth (Teen Entrepreneur). I also participate in the Drama Club, Drone Club, Entrepreneur Club and Chess Club.

Why are you passionate about aviation?
My passion in aviation is driven by the way it makes me feel. You know the feeling you get when you drive around to clear your head and you get to take in the scenery and while taking in your surroundings you begin to enjoy the quiet that comes along with driving? Well, multiply that by 100! That feeling drives my passion.

What is your future aspiration?
To fly corporate and or private planes, as well as pursue my entrepreneur skills in getting contracts for UAV/Drones.

Why did you choose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT?
I chose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT to get my private pilot license since I heard about the program from a friend who is a Tuskegee NEXT alumni. I was excited to be associated with the name Tuskegee NEXT since I have been following the Tuskegee Airmen stories since I was 11 years old.