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This nonprofit takes minority kids aloft to encourage aviation careers

Feb. 21, 2020
3 min read
This nonprofit takes minority kids aloft to encourage aviation careers
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This February, TPG has been recognizing African-Americans in the aviation industry for Black History Month. Today, we're spotlighting the work of Fly For The Culture, a nonprofit based in Charlotte, North Carolina that "focuses on promoting diversity within the aviation industry."

Fly For The Culture's founder, Courtland Savage, hopes to improve diversity in aviation by planting the seed early.

“What we do is take kids on introductory flights. Kids who have never even stepped foot on an airfield,” Courtland told The Root in November.

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“Most minority kids don’t even know it’s possible nor have they seen pilots that look like them in airplanes, so we show them by putting them in a plane with a black pilot and taking them flying for their first time ever.”

Now based in Raleigh, N.C., Savage is a commercial pilot who flies Delta and United regional jets.

Fly For The Culture also takes young people on tours of airport facilities, aircraft manufacturers and aviation maintenance facilities. In addition, it offers a course in Student Pilot Fundamentals, teaching concepts like aerodynamics, checklist philosophy and the flight training process.

A quick look at the numbers shows the organization is sorely needed.

According to 2019 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 94% of pilots and flight engineers are white. Fewer than three percent are black or African-American, Hispanic pilots comprise just two percent of the industry and just 7.5% are women.

A career in aviation can happen at any time. Jerome Stanislaus, who works with Fly for The Culture to provide flight lessons to minority children, decided to become a pilot after leaving a Sunday church service. He previously had a career with the United States Marines and held a degree in airport management, but wanted more.

"Out of nowhere, my heart just got really filled with wanting to share aviation with others," he told CNN in an interview last year. After his service, Stanislaus said, he signed up for flight lessons. Now as a licensed pilot, he takes kids and young adults of color on flying lessons.

Fly For The Culture arranges for students to to aloft on general aviation flights with licensed pilots in a Cessna 172 or similar aircraft, according to the website. For students interested in a career in aviation, the organization provides mentorship and support.

Featured image by Universal Images Group via Getty

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases