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    Black Teens Learn to Fly and Aim for Careers in Aviation in the Footsteps of Tuskegee Airmen

    Black Teens Learn to Fly and Aim for Careers in Aviation in the Footsteps of Tuskegee Airmen

    DETROIT — Marie Ronny and Kyan Bovee expect their futures to take off. Literally.

    The Black teens from Detroit are part of a free program teaching young people how to fly, while exposing them to careers in aviation, an industry in which people of color are traditionally underrepresented.

    Their classrooms are the skies above Detroit's Coleman A. Young municipal airport and inside a large hangar there serving as home to the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum.

    “I want to be a mechanical engineer with a pilot's license so I can fly my own creations. I want to build planes!” said Ronny, a 16-year-old high school student who earned her pilot's license this summer.

    Ronny and Bovee are among nearly 30 high school students in the Tuskegee Airmen Flight Academy this year, where a majority of the class is Black.

    The program began three decades ago and is designed for youths ages 14 to 19 who want to become professional pilots. It offers flight instruction and ground school classes leading to a private pilot license.

    “Many kids go off to college and finish getting their license after starting at the museum,” spokesman Greg Bowens said.

    The academy continues the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, who were part of an experimental system for Black soldiers who wanted to train as pilots during World War II after the Corps was forced to admit them.

    More than 900 men trained in Tuskegee, Alabama, from 1940 to 1946. The…

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