Boeing to train pilots from underrepresented communities with nearly $1M in scholarships

Dollita Okine July 31, 2023
Boeing will provide $500,000 to finance 25 scholarships for aspiring pilots to five aviation groups that have shown a dedication to educating future pilots Photo Credit: PickPik

To expand and diversify the talent needed to fulfill the enormous long-term demand for commercial airplane pilots, the popular commercial aircraft manufacturing business, Boeing, has announced that it will invest $950,000 in scholarships for pilot training.

Boeing will provide $500,000 to finance 25 scholarships for aspiring pilots to five aviation groups that have shown a dedication to educating future pilots; including Sisters of the Skies, Latino Pilots Association, Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and Women in Aviation International.

Ziad Ojakli, executive vice president of Government Operations at Boeing noted, “The demand for qualified and diverse pilots remains high at airlines worldwide. While becoming a pilot provides a lifelong career, access to training remains a barrier to entry for many. These organizations are helping the next generation of pilots realize their full potential while also showing communities that are historically underrepresented in the industry that a future in aviation is possible.”

The remaining $450,000 will be given to Fly Compton, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that educates minority students on aerospace career options.

Demetrius Harris, Fly Compton president and executive director said, “We are grateful for the tremendous support from our partners at Boeing. They continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to breaking down barriers for minority youth within the aviation industry.”

He also added that the organization understands that “lack of exposure, access to resources, and the high cost of flight training, prevents underrepresented populations from exploring careers in aviation. We focus on eliminating these barriers to entry, and this funding package from Boeing helps us continue this important work.”

The money invested will expand the number of flying training sessions available to students in Compton, Los Angeles, and provide career-related lessons about designing, building, and repairing aircraft and drones.

Over the next 20 years, Boeing estimates that 602,000 additional pilots will be required to operate and maintain the world’s commercial aircraft.   

According to Chris Broom, vice president of Commercial Training Solutions for Boeing Global Services, “We are seeing more women and individuals from diverse backgrounds entering the pilot profession because of the mentorship and guidance that aviation organizations like these provide for early career professionals.”

He added that “The work they’re doing to implement changes needed to remove social and financial barriers to entry are critical.”

Using the example of Black high school senior, Cailey Stewart, whom Boeing surprised with a $50,000 scholarship to her dream flight school in 2021, Essence reported that over the past six years, Boeing has invested more than $8.5 million to bring pilot training programs into communities with underrepresented populations across the country.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: July 31, 2023


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