Never Give Up – A Student’s Path to Aviation

Eriel Martinez came to LIFT Academy in March 2020, with his instrument rating, and just today earned his commercial rating passing his check ride. Eriel came to us from New York – where he came from a normal family. “I am Dominican and Puerto Rican. My grandfather migrated to the U.S. hoping to find a better life for my mom.”


Eriel was always interested in being a pilot, and was thankful for his family’s support of his dream. “When I first started flying, my instructor was Dominican. He not only showed me the all of the possibilities for my future, but all of the opportunities that the aviation industry has to offer.”

He feels that LIFT has been so welcoming, finding a great group of friends that help make LIFT a home away from home for him. Eriel has gotten so far in flight training with support from his family and the other students at LIFT. He gets through the tough days by thinking about the long-term. “Whenever you feel like you should give up. Stop and think, is giving up the right thing to do or will my long term goal to become a pilot at an airlines going to be better once I fight through.”

Eriel has been planning to give back to the community, but hasn’t been able to because of COVID, but looks forward to when he can volunteer and maybe mentor young kids. He is hoping to take his experience at LIFT and beyond to “inspire hispanic youth. To take a chance even if it seems big. I took a big leap of faith by applying to LIFT and I want them to do the same, whether it is coming to LIFT Academy or follow their dreams to something else!”