19-year-old African American lady makes history as the youngest certified pilot in New York
19-year-old Ariel Messam has made history as the youngest certified black female pilot in New York.
Ariel Messam is an African American woman from Jamaica, New York, who recently become the youngest woman of color to be a Certified Private Pilot in New York. She enrolled in Aviation Career & Technical Education High School in Queens, New York in 2018.
Ariel graduated from Aviation Career & Technical Education High School in 2022, earning both her high school diploma and her certification as an Aircraft Powerplant Technician at the institution.
After her graduation, she began working as a Flight Simulation Instructor at Level Up and Take Off, a New York City-based 501(c)3 organization created by her father, Anthony Messam.
The organization supports diversity, inclusion, and fairness in aviation, real estate, and finance. The program also offers inner-city youth chances to acquire practical, hands-on experience in these fields.
Ariel mostly flies out of Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York. She recently announced on a Facebook post that she had finally achieved her goal of becoming the youngest Black woman to be a Certified Private Pilot in the state of New York.
She also added that she took her first flight at the age of 14, despite having a lot of financial breaks and challenges, she is glad she made her passion official.
”Finally got my Private Pilot’s license. Youngest black female in New York to do it too! I’m so grateful for those who made it possible. God is so good. I took my first flight at 14 years old and couple years and financial breaks later, I made it official,” she captioned the Facebook post.
Aside from flying, Ariel also loves basketball, badminton, writing, and photography