A 23-year-old woman named Leona Serao is striving to make history as the first Black woman pilot to fly across the globe solo. According to Yahoo News, Serao plans to embark on her goal this summer.
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More Details About 23-Year-Old Leona Serao & Her Goal To Make History
According to the outlet, Serao will embark on her 3-month journey around the world in August. She will leave her home in New York City, and her flight will reportedly cover 33 countries spanning four continents.
The outlet reports that there have been 142 solo flights conducted around the globe. However, out of those flights, only 11 pilots have been women. Furthermore, none of the pilots to date have been Black.
Serao shared that her journey around the globe will be inspirational for others.
“The fact that I’m going to be the first one, means I’m going to be able to inspire other Black and other African people who want to join the aviation field.”
Yahoo News reports that out of the 158,000 globally licensed pilots, only 150 are Black women — less than 1% of the total figure.
The Background Of The 23-Year-Old & How She Persevered In A “Male-Dominated Field”
According to the outlet, Serao was born in the U.S. and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country in central Africa.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the outlet reports that there are only three licensed women pilots.
“It is a challenge because it’s a male-dominated field and women didn’t really get the opportunity to be pilots before. We couldn’t even drive before [the 20th century]. And in the aviation industry, it stayed like that.”
However, Serao wouldn’t be hindered by the challenges. Instead, she returned to the US from Africa, completed a six-month intensive pilot study program, and paid $70,000 for flight school.
She became a licensed pilot and has even set up an online campaign to cover food, fuel, and lodging costs as she completes her worldwide trip.
On the campaign site, she lists her goals for the trip.
“Inspire Future Generations, especially women, and black women to
pursue their dreams without fear, Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion globally,
Increase diversity and inclusion in aviation”
As Serao strives to reach her goal, she also shares firm yet inspiring advice for others.
“When you have a goal, you have to fight for it, no matter the situation.”