When Captain Barrington Irving turned 23 years old, he became the youngest person and first Black pilot to fly solo around the world, Frost Science reports.
Today, Irving is looking to inspire and educate the youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). He is carrying out this calling in various ways, including through the Barrington Irving Technical Training School.
According to a news release, the professional and technical training center was established in partnership with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Atlantic Aviation, and Bombardier, to offer programs, training, specialized technical and professional certification to students pursuing careers in aviation, per FLYING Mag.
The goal was to enroll 100 students by 2023.
“I not only use business aviation to grow our company and recruit students to our industry, but I, along with our partners, are living testimony of how business aviation can help you achieve your highest self,” said Irving in a news release.
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“Overwhelmed with gratitude for the support shown in our hanger,” Irving wrote on Instagram. “We have the first ever graduates of the Barrington Irving Technical Training School (BITTS)! 15 young men and women are beginning their lives in Aviation, many of them hired on the spot by our generous partners in business aviation in South Florida.”
Tremaine Johnson, among the 15 graduates, is thankful and is looking forward to his journey ahead in aviation.
“I persisted and kept going, so I just thank God,” Johnson told WSVN. “[I want to] just expand my knowledge of aviation. Fueling trucks, parking airplanes, networking with everybody aviation and lending a helping hand for people behind me that want to get into aviation as well.”
Graduate Victor Zupiera has a new career outlook, thanks to his time at the school. Soon, he will be transitioning to a role as a line service technician with Atlantic Aviation.
“Working here for Barrington truly changed my whole perspective on that and my whole career path and what I wanted to pursue,” explained Zupiera, according to WSVN. “I found a passion in aviation and it’s truly changed my life.”
Irving said, “These young people are signing with various companies in the community who said you know what, ‘We’re going to give you a chance, we’re going to give you an opportunity to flourish within our industry.'”