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An 18-year-old in New York becomes the youngest Black woman to become a certified private pilot.

Ariel Messam, an 18-year-old African American woman from Jamaica, New York, has carved her name in history as the youngest woman of color to achieve the coveted title of Certified Private Pilot in the state of New York.

This outstanding feat demonstrates her undying dedication to breaking down boundaries and encouraging a new generation of aviators.

Ariel’s adventure started at Aviation Career & Technical Education High School in Queens, New York, where she not only finished high school but also became certified as an Aircraft Powerplant Technician.

She was able to thrive in her schoolwork while still actively playing in varsity basketball, which is a credit to her devotion and time management abilities.

“I’m so grateful for those who made it possible,” Ariel said modestly of her incredible trip. God is wonderful. I took my first flight when I was 14 years old, and after a few years and financial setbacks, I made it official.”

Her remarks encapsulate the spirit of her hard-won accomplishments and the challenges she surmounted to achieve this peak of achievement.

Ariel’s relationship to aviation was strengthened when she joined her brother Anthony Messam’s project, Level Up and Take Off. As a Flight Simulation Instructor, Ariel not only displayed her abilities as a pilot, but she also contributed to a greater purpose of encouraging diversity, inclusion, and equity in the professions of aviation, real estate, and financial management.

This initiative, situated in New York City, delivers crucial hands-on experiences to inner-city youngsters, opening avenues that were previously considered unattainable.

Ariel’s flight route often took her to Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York, where she polished her talents and fulfilled her ambitions. She proudly announced on her Facebook page that she was the youngest Black woman in the state of New York to achieve the designation of Certified Private Pilot.

This statement not only recognizes her individual accomplishments, but also emphasizes continuing efforts to diversify the aviation industry.

Ariel, apart from her accomplishments in the skies, is a multi-talented person with hobbies ranging from basketball to badminton, literature to photography. Her love of aviation is obvious not just in her achievements, but also in her position as an ambassador for Girls Love to Fly, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization with a clear mission: to encourage women from all areas of life.

Ariel’s involvement with this organization strengthens her dedication to developing prospective aviators by providing scholarships and exploration flying opportunities.

“Girls Love to Fly is a beacon of empowerment, providing women with opportunities to pursue their dreams,” Ariel said. Her involvement with the group demonstrates her commitment to pave the path for future generations of female aviators.

Ariel Messam is a brilliant example of drive, tenacity, and accomplishment in a world where limits are continuously being stretched. Her path from young enthusiast with a goal to the youngest Black Female Certified Private Pilot in New York exemplifies the strength of determination and the influence of steadfast support.

Ariel’s name will definitely be remembered as a pioneer who flew to new heights, shattering boundaries and inspiring change for years to come as the aviation industry continues to progress.

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Written by Anthony Peters