A “modern-day Tuskegee Airman” is how sophomore mathematics major Jared Savage would describe his passion for both Tuskegee University and training as a student pilot.
Jared, a native of Compton, California, is a licensed pilot and a full-time student. Outside those commitments, he also finds time to also serve as the vice president of the debate team, secretary of the Young Black Artist Movement, and a dorm resident assistant.
Throughout Jared’s high school years, he and his brother attended a private school where they both made up a small percentage of minority students – two out of the school’s five African-American students. During his senior year, while on a college tour with his parents, Jared decided he wanted to attend an HBCU because he knew there he would be considered the majority.
“Tuskegee University offered me a scholarship, and my parents agreed to a tour of the university,” he recalled. “While on my tour, I was captivated by the legacy and atmosphere the university offered.”
Jared says Tuskegee has afford him several opportunities that have furthered his education and his passions. Just last summer, he completed his first internship at GE Aviation and he recently had a chance to apply to the Red Tails Scholarship Foundation.
BECOMING A STUDENT PILOT
Jared says he was first introduced to planes as a toddler – and since he’s always had an interest.
“When I was about four or five years old, there was a cartoon show about the Koala Brothers who flew around in planes. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated with planes – I loved to watch them take off and land at the airport,” Jared reminisces.
While in high school, Jared recalls expressing his interest in aviation to his mom, who allowed him to take private pilot lessons in order to obtain his license. In addition to his mom’s support, Jared says he credits a mentor and The Red Tails Scholarship Foundation – an organization created to increase interest in piloting among black student pilots and to revamp aviation activity in Tuskegee – with spurring his interest in aviation.
“Chris Hamm, a flight instructor at Box Aviation in Montgomery, suggested I apply to the foundation, as it was also a way to have the expensive fees associated with becoming a pilot waived,” he explained. “The Red Tails Scholarship Foundation is a blessing and has been an excellent way of supporting my interest in becoming a pilot.”
“The program is changing a lot of lives – including mine,” he continued.
Jared says while in the program he’s been able to obtain his private pilot’s license and teach others how to fly.
“There are 13 other people who wouldn’t be where they are without the Red Tails scholarship, and I appreciate the foundation for its support. It’s certainly a dream come true,” he continued.
PLANS AFTER TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY
Jared has already reached two milestones – gaining both his private pilot license and his instructor’s license. After graduation, he plans to earn his masters and a Ph.D. and eventually fly for a domestic or international airline.
“Flight instructing will help me gain hours to qualify for the airline transport pilot certificate,” Jared noted.” “I’m excited about the opportunity to fly for a commercial airline, but more so, I’m looking forward to the next adventure that awaits.”
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