Age: 17
Hometown: Villa Park, IL
School: Willowbrook High School
Year: Class of 2020

Career Aspirations:
For most of my life, I have dreamed of making a career out of flying. I hope to one day work in the corporate sector of the aviation industry while expanding my horizons through charity work by providing air transport for humanitarian organizations.

Hobbies & Interests:
Playing Golf, Volunteering with Local Organizations, Exploring Chicago, Yoga, Discovering New Music, Riding Bikes along Lake Shore Drive, Photography

Hispanic Organization for Leaders in Action (HOLA), Varsity Athletic Club, National Honors Society, National English Honors Society, World Language Honors Society, Math Honors Society, Civitas, Key Club, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, Muslim Student Association, Friday Night Connect, Empowerment Hour, Feed My Starving Children, Humanitarian Service Project, High School Golf Team, Latino Pilots Association, Illinois Aviation Academy: Basic and Advanced Aero Camp

Why are you passionate about aviation?
Words cannot express how much aviation means to me.

For as long as I can remember, my grandfather had WWII-era model airplanes hanging from the ceiling of his garage. Over the years, he collected hundreds: Everything from the B-17 Flying Fortress to the Messerschmitt Bf 109. With each visit, I found myself wandering over to the airplanes and gazing up at each piece of aviation history.

My interest in aviation soon expanded into a devoted passion. With my father by my side, we began taking annual road trips to the EAA’s aviation gathering in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The endless sea of aircraft further ignited my excitement about flying.

In the summer of 2016, I enrolled in an Illinois Aviation Academy Aero camp at my nearby, regional airport. The camp allows young aviation enthusiasts, such as myself, to pilot airplanes.

When it was my turn to sit behind the yolk of a Cessna 172, it felt like I was alive for the first time. I had a smile on my face that I could not wipe off, and waves of excitement filled my heart as I navigated the plane through banks and turns. From the level of empowerment to the pure adrenaline rush I experienced, I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life in the pilot’s seat.

What is your future aspiration?
As a young girl, I learned stories about the hardships my grandparents faced in Mexico and was taught to never take anything for granted. It instilled in me a desire to be grateful above all else. These stories will always be with me as I walk the path to a career in aviation.

While the thought of pursuing a career in the airlines entices me, dedicating myself to helping others through humanitarian organizations is important to me as well. It breaks my heart to hear about the crises that devastatingly affect the lives of people across the globe.

I want to be a part of organizations that provide relief to those in need and do all that I can to help. Even if it includes traveling to a foreign country, it may seem like a different world to me, but I will still have the opportunity to make a difference.

Why did you choose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT?
I first encountered Tuskegee NEXT in 2016 when I was fourteen-years-old. I was a part of Illinois Aviation Academy’s Aero Camp, and it was during my first time in an airplane hangar.

I was in complete awe of my surroundings, and just when I thought it couldn't get any better; I met the 2016 summer class of Tuskegee NEXT cadets.

I’ll never forget seeing how focused, concentrated, and diligent the cadets were as they worked on the task on hand. At that moment, becoming a Tuskegee NEXT cadet became my dream.

When it was time to apply, I was fortunate to receive guidance from Illinois Aviation Academy president, Mr. Werderich. He helped me understand what steps I needed to take to become a Tuskegee NEXT cadet.

During this time, my grandmother passed away. She was one of my biggest supporters, and I didn't have the chance to tell her about Tuskegee NEXT.

If I could talk to her today, I'd tell her that being a Tuskegee NEXT cadet is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I am doing all that I can to make her proud. I'd tell her it is an honor to represent her, women, and minorities as I pursue a career in the aviation field.

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.