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This Black female pilot is working to get more diversity in the cockpit

Black Women in Science

This Black female pilot is working to get more diversity in the cockpit

By Catherine Garcia via

Carole Hopson is blazing a trail in the sky, showing other Black women that they belong in the cockpit.

The Federal Aviation Administration says that Black women make up less than 1 percent of all certified pilots, and Hopson — a pilot with United Airlines — is one of them. Hopson, 56, told People that as a kid, she would spend her summers mesmerized by the planes taking off and landing at Philadelphia International Airport. She went to college, studying Spanish and journalism, and started a career in human resources, but “the revelry and imagination of flying just stuck with me,” Hopson said.

When they were dating, Hopson’s husband, Michael, surprised her with flight lessons. Her husband and teenage sons have been “absolutely” supportive of Hopson following her dream of becoming a pilot, and since 2018, she’s …

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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