Lost in the Airport at Five Years Old

by Daniel Croom

I was lost in the airport yet again–lost in my own imagination, lost in awe and wonder as I watched the planes taxi down the runway and disappear into the sun. No one could have peeled my five-year-old eyes from that black strip of tar even if they tried. My family is Atlanta transplants, so we spent a lot of time at the airport welcoming out-of-town family members when they came to visit. I would sit and watch the planes, daydreaming about one day flying one. It was at that ripe age of five I decided I wanted to become a pilot.

I grew up playing baseball which eventually earned me a collegiate scholarship at Tuskegee University. I’m a Sales Marketing major here. Being a student-athlete taught me all about discipline and persistence. I realize these qualities apply not only to all areas of academia but also toward my first love: becoming a pilot.

I’m a self-described adventurer, reserved by nature, but confident in who I am and what I’m passionate about. As a member of the People to People Ambassador Club, I’ve had the unique opportunity to travel to incredible places like Greece and Italy. Traveling isn’t just a hobby for me, though. It feeds into my desire to fly. I visualize pilots as being part of a unique, private club–one in which members are bound in their common love for aviation and for exploration. One day I want to become a member of this exclusive club so that I can continually fuel my passion for discovering the unknown.

Just like my parents who have instilled confidence in me and given me the opportunity to follow my dreams, the Red Tail Scholarship Foundation has carved a path for me to pursue a career in aviation. I’m no longer five-years-old, lost in the Atlanta airport. I’ve found my passion, and this program is helping me get there, one step at a time.