I am a 49-year-old African American woman from El Dorado, Arkansas. I am a mother to four amazing children and a “GG” to six grandchildren. I am a wife to Raymond. I am a writer and director of plays. I am an aircraft mechanic. I am L3Harris.
As a child, I always loved seeing airplanes flying in the sky. When I was about four years old, my mom would sometimes take me to the local airport. We would bring popcorn and watch the airplanes take off and land. I never dreamed of working on an aircraft or even flying one. I had never seen anyone in my family, my neighborhood or who looked like me working in aviation. I never knew anyone who had flown on an airplane, let alone anyone who was an aircraft mechanic or a pilot.
As I grew older, I often imagined what it would be like to work in aviation, but I never thought I would be able to learn the skills. Life is a journey that is not always predictable. In my 40s, as a mother of four, I found myself wanting to pursue a career. I came across a pamphlet for Pulaski Tech Aviation school in North Little Rock, Arkansas which captivated my attention. I feared that going to college at my age would be a challenge, but I enrolled anyway. After two and a half years, I received an associate degree in aircraft maintenance technology, airframe and power plant.
While in school, my instructor advised me to prepare for a job in aviation. At the time, I was going through a divorce and looking forward to a fresh start with a new career. It was a challenging and stressful time not knowing what the future would hold for me. I submitted my resume to various aerospace companies and ultimately landed at L3Harris. I remember graduating on a Saturday, interviewing on a Tuesday then having a second interview just a few days later with my amazing future supervisor. It was the best interview I ever had, and I knew the job was a perfect fit. I started two weeks later.
Four years later, I considered furthering my education, but worried about covering the cost of tuition. Thankfully, I was able to take advantage of L3Harris’ Education Assistance program, which allowed me to pursue my Bachelor of Business Administration degree, specializing in business management. I graduated in August 2022! My journey has been far greater than I ever imagined. I’m grateful to have launched my career at L3Harris – it’s also where I met my husband!
In my free time, I write and direct stage plays which are performed at theatres in my community. My mission has been to serve people who are hurting and dealing with mental illness such as depression and PTSD. My play called “No More Pain” raises awareness of mental health issues, and I have received so many words of praise for generating conversation around these topics.
I am thankful for a life of abundance. It isn’t always easy, but if you believe, you can achieve. That little girl who grew up to become an aircraft mechanic is proof of that. If I can do it, anyone can.