Franklin High Senior soaring towards earning pilot license

While most students spent their time in COVID-related isolation watching movies, catching up of reading and doing house work, Franklin senior Amarie Rivera instead took to the skies.

Amarie decided to continue her journey toward earning her pilots license by practicing on a single-engine plane all summer long. She had set a personal goal of finishing the process before her graduation date and is well on her way there!

EPISD’s Reneé de Santos sat down with Amarie to discuss her flight plan toward a potential career in piloting.

EPISD: Why did you want to learn how to fly?

Amarie Rivera: It was my 16th birthday when I had my first discovery flight. The purpose of this discovery flight was to experience what it’s like to be behind the wheel of the aircraft. The moment I had the plane under my control, I decided that this is what I wanted to do for my career. The exhilarating adrenaline you get when you fly a plane is nothing like what you experience before. Experiencing that adrenaline every day excites me to continue my journey to be an airline pilot someday.

EPISD: How does it feel to pilot the plane?

AR: Flying a plane is nothing like driving a car. It feels like a bird, slicing through the air, soaring through the clouds, gliding into the wind. When you have control of the plane, you have the ability to go anywhere. The feeling of excitement, the breathtaking view under you, is captivating.

EPISD: How many hours have you spent flying and what kind of plane?

AR: I have spent at least 35 hours total flying a plane called a Cessna Skyhawk 172. This plane is a single-engine and can fit four individuals.

EPISD: What are your aspirations/goals as a pilot?

AR: My goal as a pilot is to show representation for women and minorities in the aviation field. There isn’t much representation with individuals who have physical disabilities like me. I hope I can show and inspire other women to break barriers.

EPISD: What do you plan to do after you graduate from Franklin?

AR: After I graduate high school, I will fly and train intensively to receive the required licenses to start working for the airlines and obtain my dream career.

EPISD: What’s your dream flight?

AR: My dream flight would be in my dream jet taking my family to a vacation in Hawaii.

EPISD: What are you doing to make the best of your senior year?

AR: For my senior year, I am going to try my best to get involved with the school and end my high school years on a good note.

EPISD: What advice would you give freshman?

AR: Focus on school but to enjoy it.  Your high school years will go by so fast and before you know it, you’re a senior graduating. Have fun in school, be involved with clubs, events, and make memories. Because after your high school years end it won’t be the same.

EPISD: Anything you would like to add?

AR: Do not let the confines of society define you, breakthrough, and accomplish your dreams.

Story by Reneé de Santos  | El Paso ISD