St. Croix, USVI
I introduce myself as Kaleem Santos. I was born in Riverdale, Georgia and raised on the beautiful island of St. Croix, USVI. Throughout my recent educational career, I have attended St. Croix Educational Complex High School, graduated from Brooks-Debartolo Collegiate High School, and St. Croix Career and Technical School. Currently, I am pursuing a degree in Aviation Science with a concentration in Business Management at Middle Georgia University. I am a member of the Tuskegee Airmen Chapter in St. Croix and The Red Tails Scholarship Foundation. My hobbies include enjoying the benefits of nature above and below the horizon; it is this interest that continues to spark my curiosity about aviation.
In the Summer of 2014, I had my first hands-on discovery flight experience through an OBAP summer program with the St. Croix Tuskegee Airmen Chapter. The following year I was invited to the Solo Flight Academy, in Atlanta at Falcon Field, where I was the third of twelve in my class to solo in under two weeks. In 2016 I went back to Falcon Field, where I earned my Private Pilot Certificate. Since then, I have received my instrument rating and am currently pursuing my commercial rating.
My master plan in my aviation career is centered on not only becoming a great pilot but also establishing a chain of non-profit flight schools. These will be located in unprivileged areas, starting with my home in the Virgin Islands. Along with this I also intend on starting my own chain of charter flight companies, whose aim would be to inspire and recruit the upcoming generations into the freelanced aviation field.
I am extremely grateful to be a member of the Red Tails Scholarship Family. Though my time with the scholarship has been short, from January 2021 to the present, I’ve received my instrument rating, networked with some amazing individuals, ran a 5k, had some unique experiences such as Oshkosh, and have the daily opportunity to be around amazing driven individuals whom have grown to become family. Though this journey may be challenging I maintain a humbling mindset posed by the following quote by Henry Ford, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”