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Black History Month spotlight: Faith, family and culture pave way for Savannah supervisor

January 10, 2023

Black History Month spotlight: Faith, family and culture pave way for Savannah supervisor

A native of Saint Helena Island, home of the Gullah Geechee culture, I’ve prevailed against the odds. The first of a household of five to graduate from college, receiving a Bachelor’s in Science degree from Voorhees College, an HBCU (Historically Black College and University), located in Denmark, S.C. I initially wanted to be a professional basketball player, but unexpected life challenges led me to make a career change. I found an opportunity to follow in my father’s footsteps. From a family well-respected in the community for our ability to build and restore; utilizing those inherited skills, I decided to pursue a career in aviation.

Saint Helena Island, which is a part of Beaufort County, sits on the Coast between Hilton Head Island, SC and Charleston, SC. It bares descendants of the West Coast of Africa, Sierra Leone and Ghana, which is also known as the “Ivory Coast.” Many inherited land given to ancestors, that were deserted by plantation owners when the storm of 1893 came through and killed thousands of residents. Even with the land being left in ruins, the land was still fertile enough to bring forth crops that are sold in supermarkets around the region to this day. I cherish my roots and I credit my ambition, motivation and success thus far to God and my parents who taught me that through Christ, nothing is impossible.

(Fun Fact: Saint Helena Island, SC hosts a “Black Heritage Festival” the second week of November every year. I would recommend anyone interested in exploring and learning about different cultures to make it a point to experience it. It’s a three-to-four day event, consisting of vendors, entertainment and a variety of food.)

I’ve been in the aviation industry for 12 years and have worked on aircraft as far away as the Middle East. I’ve worked in challenging environments, from commercial, to military-civilian assignments, to manufacturing.

In 2015, while working at the CAE (Charleston) Airport, I found time to give back to young athletes as Head Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Allen University. It was truly one of the best times of my life, reuniting me with a sport that taught me many life skills. Unfortunately, it ended abruptly when the Maintenance base where I worked shut down.

Fortunately, I was able to join a company that was expanding right away, and continued pressing toward building my career. In January 2020, I was hired at PSA as a Lead Mechanic. Six months later, I was promoted to my current position of Maintenance Supervisor. I have a goal of learning every day through my endeavors in aviation.

If I were asked to give advice to someone looking to be a part of this highly-competitive and ever-changing field, I would say pray and BELIEVE without a modicum of doubt. Most importantly, work hard daily, as if you are years behind. Lastly, building a positive network is key. Negativity is highly contagious.

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