Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
A Nigerian who is America’s youngest licensed black female commercial pilot, Miracle Izuchukwu, has said one of her life goals is to prepare black girls to become top pilots in the world.
Izuchukwu made this disclosure in an interview with a US-based Nigeria Standard Newspaper.
According to her, “becoming a pilot is a fulfilment, I can do this job all day. I want young girls to see me in my pilot uniform and tell them they can also become pilots.”
Speaking further, she said: “Preparing the next generation of black girls that want to become pilots is my top priority.”
Narrating her story, Izuchukwu said she started working as an airport customer service representative before becoming a flight attendant. She later met a pilot that instilled in her the passion to become a pilot.
“I later told my parents that I wanted to be a pilot. At first, my parents didn’t support my dream. They didn’t see it as a possibility. My dad told me that if a black woman were flying a plane, he would get off the plane. My mom was totally against it. My mom is a nurse and wanted me to follow in her footsteps. My mom felt that to survive in the United States, I needed to be a nurse to put food on the table. Being a nurse was not my passion.
“I’m the eldest of five children. In the African culture, the oldest sibling is responsible for caring for their siblings. My parents said that there was no way I could leave my siblings behind. My mom tried to stop me at all costs, but seeing my persistence, she eventually caved in.
“When I left for Ohio, I wondered if I had made the right decision. When I left home, I decided there was no going back. I had to prove to my parents that I would be successful. Not only did I need their support, but I also needed them financially. I had to find a way to support myself to enroll in the pilot Programme. I found a way by taking out student loans. I succeeded, and my parents are very proud of me,” Miracle narrated her story boastfully.
On how she feels being a young female in an industry that is dominated by white men, Izuchukwu said: “It feels great. I’m very thankful for the aviators that came before me to have the opportunity to pursue my dreams.
“I need 1,500 flight hours to work for an airline. As of now, I have 300 flight hours. The training is very intense. I have been keeping myself motivated because I know that I will reach my goal of getting 1,500 flight hours. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime. I finally found a career that I love. Growing up, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I would watch a lot of TED Talks, thinking about a career I would love. Becoming a pilot, I can do this job all day.”
Izuchukwu said it has become her paramount dream to see Bessie Coleman.
“She is the reason why I am a pilot. I would ask her what gave her the courage to become a pilot and people who doubted her being a black female pilot. I can relate to her because I went through obstacles to become a pilot as Bessie Coleman did.”