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Darksline Policard-Young Shares Her Story During Women In Aviation Month

  • Article by Darksline Policard-Young - L3Harris Flight Academy Cadet
  • Published
  • Duration 5 minute read

Hi, my name is Darksline Policard-Young, originally from Haiti. I started at L3Harris Flight Academy in December 2022, and am currently completing my Certified Flight Instructor Rating. 

I’m the first of my family to start their aviation journey, becoming a flight attendant for both United Airlines and American Airlines. I caught the aviation bug through a Discovery Flight and immediately started training for my Private Pilot License at another flight school. While the training was valuable, I felt I was missing a lot of discipline and structure in how I was receiving the education, which led me to enroll at L3Harris Flight Academy.

I believe a successful student is one that remains highly motivated and dedicated, even on the toughest days. There are expectations and standards at the Academy that you have to adhere to in order to become a better pilot, however there is an incredible support system for personal and training related challenges. Personally, I keep motivated by surrounding myself with hardworking and like-minded individuals.

I am a proud member of Sisters of the Skies; a program that promotes scholarships, leadership, and mentorship to women of color wishing to follow their dreams in aviation. This organization welcomes airline pilots, cargo pilots, training pilots, student pilots and aspiring pilots. Through outreach programs like GROW and Girls Rock Wings, we aim to inspire young girls to pursue their dreams in aviation with better representation.

While there is still a lot of progress to be made in the aviation industry in terms of diversity, there are organizations like Sisters of the Skies, Latino Pilot Assocation, Women in Aviation, and OBAP that you can tap in to who are working towards positive change. I feel we need to pay attention to this change and connect with these organizations that are propelling forward diversity in the flight deck.

To the next generation of black female pilots: Continue to follow your dreams even if you feel like you don’t belong. As long as you love aviation and you have a passion for it, you belong in that space regardless of your appearance, your gender, or the representation. As for me, I never thought I could be a pilot whilst I was a flight attendant until one day it clicked, and I’ve been following my dreams ever since.

Looking back, I’d tell a younger version of myself that she belongs in all the spaces she wants to occupy. I would say the journey is long, but it will always be worth it in the end. Now, I hope to develop myself professionally to where I am in spaces where I can advocate for black female pilots and become a role model for the next generation.

To attract diversity in aviation, representation is key, not just in the flight deck but as ramp agents, air traffic control and maintenance individuals. Accessibility is also crucial, which could be encouraged by introducing aviation programs in high schools where children have the opportunity to choose an aviation career.

I’d like to show my recognition for Sisters of The Skies from which I am a two-time scholarship recipient and who have been instrumental in my journey as a pilot. My family have been a fantastic support network, even though their love for flying is not as great as mine. I’d also like to thank L3Harris Flight Academy, from operations to administration, everyone has been extremely accommodating and kind, making this journey even more worth it.

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