Celebrating Black History Month: Student Spotlight

Here at LIFT Academy, we celebrate what makes us different. Since our beginning, LIFT has fully embraced being different in the training environment, and we’ve created a pilot training model that is more widely attainable.

We have a diverse body of students, apprentices, Certificated Flight Instructors (CFIs) and ground instructors. LIFT students and apprentices are many different ages, have varying levels of education, come from an array of backgrounds and hold distinct reasons as to why they chose to train with LIFT.

We expect our Associates, students and apprentices to maintain an environment that is welcoming and supportive. This is reflected in our Culture Statement, “We believe that every Associate, regardless of personal beliefs or worldview, has been created in the image and likeness of God. We seek to become stronger from our diversity. We seek personal respect and fulfillment from our work. Most of all, we seek to recognize the dignity and potential of each member of our Republic Airways Holdings family.”

Because of this, we are celebrating Black History Month by featuring two LIFT students, Antonio “Tony” Johnson and Miguel Yameogo. Tony started at LIFT in July 2019 and is currently working on completing his instrument rating. Miguel began training at LIFT in September 2019 and just passed his stage 2 check ride of his Private Pilot License.

Tony Johnson

Q: Why is diversity important?
A: Our customers are diverse. We’re hired to transport diversity in the cabin every flight. The importance is understanding everyone is different, and everyone brings something new to the table. You never know who you are transporting. People are more alike than you think!

Q: What does diversity look like?
A: Diversity is young, diversity is wise. It definitely takes many forms!

Q: How do you like working for a company that embraces diversity?
A: It’s huge. It’s a great feeling to know a company values inclusive thinking. It’s a step forward. Once you know who you’re involved with and that they care about diversity, it makes your decisions easier.

Q: What’s something you would like to share with younger generations?
A: Never give up. Even if it takes a long time or there is a gap while pursuing your dreams, be persistent, and it will work out. It’s not going to be easy, you will have setbacks, but understand the lessons you learn and take it to heart.

Q: What’s your favorite part of being a student at LIFT?
A: The environment. There’s a lot of great people that we get to work with. We have a very diverse group from all over the country. Students’ experiences range from the start of their career after high school through retirees and even people seeking a change in careers. I enjoy the flexibility to study and fly. It’s also a great feeling to be in a community that is solely focused on aviation. It’s all refreshing. We truly have a great opportunity, and it’s a great to do it. I believe that the others would agree and are taking full advantage.


Miguel Yameogo

Q: What is your understanding of diversity?
A: Talent, new ideas and different perspective is important in aviation because everyone is unique in their own way. Anyone can make a company very successful!

Q: What does diversity look like?
A: I think diversity looks like differences between people. Age, ethnic backgrounds, genders and many other things that would distinguish you from the majority.

Q: Why is diversity important in the workplace/society?
A: The two may have differences, but they do have similarities. In the workplace, diversity is important because it’s important to have pride in terms of reputation. In society, it’s a wide range of cultures, races, religions and other characteristics.

Q: Who is a role model who has impacted you?
A: My role models are my parents just because of the fact of where they come from. They had faith and determination to make a better life for my family. Ever since I understood that two kids from a small village in west Africa could be so determined to come to the U.S. and make a difference, I always have kept the faith, regardless of the situation.

Q: How do you like working for a company that embraces diversity?
A: It helps maintain a positive work environment where the similarities are valued! Employing people who may be different from each other or may not have the same background is a good thing; you can learn to accept people for who they are and where they come from. It helps us build a bond with people.

Q: How do we benefit from being more acceptive of diversity in our society?
A: We all benefit by being more open, diverse and accepting in society by experiencing new things, understanding other people’s cultures and recognizing your own differences.

Q: What’s your favorite part of being a student at LIFT?
A: My favorite part of being a LIFT student is that I’m following my dreams to become a pilot and that my instructor is willing to help me get there.