MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Aviation is a profession full of white men. So when FedEx highlighted a female African American pilot, it went viral.
One Shelby County School is hoping to make that the norm though.
At East High’s T-STEM Academy, Freshman Ashlyn Morris had no idea what she was getting into.
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“I didn't know was going to be like this. I thought it was going to be just like a regular high school,” said Morris.
The math wiz is taking engineering courses, and next year, she will be learning aviation from a certified pilot.
“[The teacher] comes to us and talks to us in the morning about it, how we can fly planes and how it's so cool,” she said.
“This is a very unique piece of equipment,” said Executive Principal Lischa Brooks, showing off the school’s flight simulator.
“Our students have the opportunity to train on flight simulators, that are exactly what the pilots are learning to operate for FedEx.”
FedEx has donated $250,000 to the program so far.
“I think a lot of times people don't really know they're interested in aviation or they're interested in going into an engineering field,” said Brooks.
Brooks hopes the rare technology variety of unique topics in Science and Math will help students break barriers.
“We are able to say, you can do this, here are some role models…or maybe you're going to be the first to have an opportunity to do something,” said Brooks.
Shelby County Schools hopes the students will apply their skills right here in Memphis.
“We want them to be excited about our city and look forward to the opportunities that we think our city house. Although we weren't chosen for Amazon we want to be ready for them next time.”
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