Last Updated Apr 29, 2019 9:02 PM EDT
Farmingdale, N.Y. — For as long as 18-year-old Davion Lee can remember, he's dreamed of soaring high.
"I looked up and saw an airplane and said 'Mom I'm gonna fly that one day.' It's just been a passion that grew in me ever since," he said.
Now, pilot Jerome Stanislaus is taking him under his wing. Growing up, Stanislaus also found an interest in flying, but he didn't have the same guidance.
"I told myself that I would never probably be a pilot because I actually never saw a pilot that looked like myself," Stanislaus said.
Just over two and a half percent of aircraft pilots and flight engineers are African-American, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So last year, Stanislaus started giving free flights, often to kids of color.
"Aviation is just, it's a very expensive career to get into. It is definitely a barrier," he said.
He's part of Fly For The Culture, a non-profit that promotes inclusion in aviation. Stanislaus said when a kid goes up in the air for the first time, their reaction is "priceless."
"I love it, I really do," Stanislaus said. "I really want to be able to make a difference and this is how I do it, it's like my purpose."