Ron Taylor knew from the age of five that he wanted to be a pilot. Now, he's enrolled at the American Airlines Cadet Academy in Dallas. (Courtesy photo)

by Jannelle Marie Walker, Special to The New Tri-State Defender

Seemingly a young man’s dreams have taken flight and landed him straight into American Airlines Cadet Academy.

While at Arlington High School, Ron Taylor dreamt of being a pilot. Now h is on course to make that happen.

Taylor’s passion for airplanes began at a young age.

“He is very smart and has known since he was five that he wanted to be a pilot,” said his mother, Patty Taylor. “He never stopped pursuing that dream.”

Around that same time, he took a flight with his family to go to the Mall of America in Minnesota, which was the plane ride that inspired him to become a pilot.

“I was scared at first, but once we got on the runway the pilot put in full power and we were accelerating down the runway and I knew from that point on I wanted to be a pilot,” Taylor said.

“There was just nothing I could do (to become a pilot) from the age of five to 16. But I never lost interest. I always wanted to be a pilot.” (Courtesy photo)

But he would have to wait.

“I just didn’t know how to achieve my main goals,” he said. “There was just nothing I could do from the age of five to 16. But I never lost interest. I always wanted to be a pilot.”

That’s when he began researching what would be required of him. Eventually, the American Airlines Cadet Academy invited him to Dallas for an interview. Things went quickly after that.

“I was shocked because I got into the program so quickly,” he said. “I had my interview on a Friday, then that next two days, I got an email saying I had been selected.”

His excitement rippled through the family.

“I was at work when I found out and ran up to hug my manager,” Taylor said. “I called my mom, and my mom started crying. It was really an overwhelming feeling to know that I basically have a career with my dream airlines.”

Patty Taylor said her son set his own path – even if she lent a helping hand.

“I was there every step of the way, but he did a lot of research himself and trying to find a program or path to take,” she said. “I just assisted him, but basically, he did all the work.”

Ron Taylor’s dreams of becoming a pilot means he has a lot of training ahead of him in planes such as this Diamond DA-20. (Photo:

Taylor gave insight into his curriculum at the academy, where he’s currently enrolled. He was hoping to be in the air already, but he’ll have to be patient.

“I kind of expected to fly a little bit more but then I just started a little bit under a month ago, so I expected to be going to class every other day and flying, but of course you have to get ground school out the way,” he said. “Even though I am kind of flying now, I’m just excited to work for American Airlines.

“I just wish the process would go faster,” he added. “I just need to enjoy the process now and be glad that I am selected to be in the program.”

Taylor shared tips for people with dreams of flight, especially young people:

Tip 1: Stay motivated, stay dedicated. “There isn’t anything you can do at a young age, except research and watch (self study/pilot videos on) YouTube.

Tip 2: When you reach high school, look for colleges and flight schools that offer ADH programs.

Tip 3: Make sure you are final in your decisions, especially when finding a school.

Tip 4: Graduate high school.

Taylor’s schedule at the academy doesn’t leave him a lot of free time for socializing and chatting with family.

“Sometimes it can be a little struggle, but everyone around me supports me and knows that it’s my goal, and this what I wanted for a long time,” he said. “They all understand, which I’m very grateful to have in my life.”

Ron’s aunt, Jacqueline, was the one who called The New Tri-State Defender to make sure her nephew’s accomplishments were documented. She hopes seeing his story in an African-American owned newspaper will inspire others.

“As he grew to be a young teenager, his mom always told us about what he wanted to do and what he talked about he would like to do when he grows up,” said Taylor.

“This is so wonderful,” she added. “Something good that is happening in our family might inspire the other nieces, nephews or anyone.”