Her first helicopter ride was when she was rescued from Hurricane Katrina; now she is a pilot herself.

Meet Tatiana Julien. She is the first female Black pilot in Louisiana's Army National Guard, according to a post from NOLA.com.

When Julien was deployed overseas in 2017 through 2018, she became friends with a Black pilot who, according to the story, became her mentor. His name is CW4 Troy Willis, and it was under his "wing" that Julien decided to apply to flight school. She graduated in July of 2021.

Now that Julien has come this far, she wants to give back by showing people who are like her that there are ways for them to succeed.

 

I feel like I now have a responsibility to let young females know that aviation is an option for them even thought it is a male-dominated field. - Tatiana Julien via The Advocate

Julien wants girls to know that they, too, can excel in the aviation field.

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I feel like the exposure just isn’t there for many young Black kids in the community I grew up in. A lot of us don’t know about opportunities like this. -Tatiana Julien

She says that she'd love to go back to her alma mater, George Washing Carver High School in New Orleans, to speak to the kids there. Julien feels that too many kids don't know about all of the opportunities available to them.

I think that it is fitting that she has become a helicopter pilot after her rescue back in 2005. According to NOLA.com, Julien had been stuck at the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. She and her family were there for a week before being rescued by a crew in a CH-47 helicopter, flying her to dry land and safety.

Congrats, Tatiana!

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