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  • GiveBack: Gaining Altitude

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    The Red Tail Scholarship Foundation is preserving an important legacy by helping others prepare for a prosperous future. Torius Moore, the first person to receive his pilot’s license with the help of Foundation, shared his experience.
    What is the Red Tail Scholarship Foundation?
    In the United States, African Americans comprise 13.6 percent of the popula­tion. However, the number of minority pilots in both commercial and military aviation hovers around 2 percent. The Red Tail Schol­arship Foundation is dedicated to change this. It was not until the establishment of a program in 1940 to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft that minority pilots took flight. This select group trained in Tuskegee, Ala., and became known as the Tuskegee Airmen with the nickname “Red Tails.” These brave pilots possessed unwavering courage, professionalism and patriotism, and the Foundation’s goal is to find students who demonstrate these values and give them the tools to succeed in this career field.
    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I am an undergraduate student triple-majoring in Aerospace Science Engineering, Physics and Mathematics at the Historic Tuskegee University. I am from Attalla, Alabama, aspiring to become an astronaut.
    How did you become interested in flying?
    In high school, I did some research and found that most astronauts were former mili­tary pilots or test pilots. After that, I was driven to take that route: I joined Air Force ROTC, became a STEM major, interned with NASA and began flying on my own.
    How did you get involved in the Foundation?
    I started with general aviation to test myself and see if I could handle flying be­cause both of my parents fear heights. Turns out, I’m only rattled by stationary heights. After the first flight, I knew I had to fly again. I kept flying and paying for it with my internship and re­search funds. These funds started to dwindle about three-fourths through me getting my Private Pilot License (PPL). I needed help paying for the rest. My instructor is good friends with the Foundation’s Co-Chair Col. Sparrow, and he told Col. Sparrow about me. I became the first Red Tail Scholarship Foundation recipient and obtained my PPL last summer.
    How has the Foundation impacted your life?
    It has made me part of something bigger than me: honoring the legacy of the Tuske­gee Airmen. I will forever be grateful for this scholarship and what it has helped me accomplish. And I am so proud to see more scholarships being awarded to deserving African Americans.”
    Want to know more about The Red Tails Scholarship Foundation? Check out #SerquestMBJ on Facebook to watch a short video produced by Serquest, a local organization that helps non-profts with their media and software needs to secure and source resources. www.redtailscholarshipfoundation.org
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