Caleb became determined to get his pilot’s license. He mostly wanted to be a pilot because he loves flying. But he had another motivation as well: to expand people’s ideas about who can fly an airplane. Right now, the majority of pilots in the U.S. are white and male. Caleb wants to change that. “I want aviation to get to a point where everyone can pursue it, regardless of their race or gender,” he says.
Caleb is inspired by a group of pilots called the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first Black military pilots in the United States. (Caleb’s school, Charles Herbert Flowers High School, is actually named after one of the Airmen.) Caleb considers these famous pilots role models. “They proved that race can’t stop you from chasing your dreams,” he says.
Over the years he was working toward his license, Caleb always managed to fit his passion for flying into his busy school schedule. He would often wake up early to finish homework before school. After school he’d spend a few hours flying before coming home and immediately hitting the books. “It was definitely a crunch trying to get all my work done,” he says.
Thanks to his dedication, he won a scholarship that helped fund his flight training. After completing 12 solo flights and passing a written exam, he earned his private glider pilot license in 2021, at the age of 16.