How Nigerian Kimberly Conquered The World At 15! Becomes The First Black Teen To Fly Across The US

Read and be inspired…
Kimberly Anyadike is born to Nigerian parents and named the
first African-American teen to fly across the United States breaking a stunning
and exemplary record at the age of 15. Kimberly achieved this feat in 2009. She
intends to become a cardiovascular surgeon after her college education but has
a passion for flying aircrafts. A cardio-vascular surgeon with a pilot’s
license, what an immense achievement that would be!
Born in Los Angeles in 1994, Kimberly’s dream of flying
began when she was a pre-teen (12 years old). She was inspired by a group of
airmen and the first African American female to travel in space among others.
She had attended lessons from the Compton-based Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum
(TAM) run by Tuskegee Airmen Foundation, a foundation that has a history of
fighting in the World War II. The foundation is made up of a group of African
American pilots. Her journey into the world of piloting commenced with a
20-minute demo flight.

TAM offers aviation lessons as well as youth mentoring in a
programme it organised after school hours for disadvantaged youths. The
organisation assists to urge youths to embrace aviation rather than turning
wayward through drugs, violence and so on.
This group of airmen officially made up the 332nd Fighter
Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Corps
(United States Army Air Forces after 20 June 1941). The Tuskegee 332nd Fighter
Group was reported as the only operational unit first sent abroad as part of
Operation Torch, then also active in Sicily and Italy, before subsequently
deployed as bomber escorts in Europe where they were very successful.
Kimberly had determinedly paid her way through the lessons
through several regular jobs and odd jobs. She was reported to have washed
airplanes as well as done other errands to earn what was called, ‘museum
dollars,’ which she traded in for flight lessons. All this she did while still
focused on achieving her dream of flying. She maintained an outstanding
academic record during this period which was a criterion for remaining in the
And then she made Nigerians proud by flying from Compton,
California to Newport News, Virginia without much technical support. The
journey took her 13 days and she covered 2,342 miles using a Cessna C-172.
Kimberly did not go the miles alone, she was in the company of safety pilot
Ronnell Norman, a certified commercial pilot and Major Levi H. Thornhill, a
retired US Air Force pilot, aged 87 and a member of the elite Tuskegee Airmen
who served during the World War II.

She told the media regarding the super cross-country journey
that brought her to fame that, “Flying over Texas was the most fun because
there were a lot of summer rainstorms. I wasn’t scared; I’m never scared. I
remained focused. And before every flight, I pray,” she had commented, hoping
that her achievements would be an inspiration to other young people.
Earlier in life, Kimberly had the opportunity of engaging in
other extracurricular activities such as being a junior lifeguard at Venice
Beach for five years, and also learning to surf at the time. Having an interest
in dancing, she had gone ahead to attend the Lula Washington Dance Academy.
While she was there, she learned ballet and hip-hop and tap dance.
She was also active in church activities and took up the
role of a youth leader. During that time in the church, she engaged in more
learning, especially how to read music. She is also learning how to play the
piano, violin and guitar.
Completing a course in Los Angeles Trade Technical College
at the Saturday Science Academy at Charles Drew University, she took a variety
of art courses at the Plaza De La Raza. Kimberly has also been involved in some
charity work as a volunteer to feed the homeless in downtown Los Angeles while
maintaining her Grade Point Average (GPA) so that she would be able to attend
Stanford, Yale or Harvard University. We do hope Kimberly keeps up the
fantastic work and that she would achieve all that she has lined up for her

This story should inspire young people in Nigeria and all
over the world that the sky is not even their limit but the beginning. They can
achieve all the good things they want to with prayers, focus, determination and
discipline. Kimberly wishes to inspire other young people with her story and
hope this story of her achievements has inspired you to go out there and

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