MEET FIONA AKOTH THE FIRST FEMALES PILOT TO FLY US AIR FORCE JET.
Her move to the US in search of an education destabilised her teenage cocoon, but it catapulted her into heights she had only dreamt of in over a decade; being a pilot in the US Air force.
Her story begun in Kisumu where Fiona graduated from high school but struggled to gain entry into college because her parents were too poor to afford fees.
That prompted her to apply for as many scholarships as she could, a search that led her into an opening at the US Naval Academy.
She would soon receive mail stating that she had been accepted at the Naval Academy, which meant leaving the quiet life behind in pursuit of a childhood dream.
“I was well engrained in the roots back in Kenya. I had to leave a familiar country with a familiar group of friends when I was just becoming a teenager looking for a solid foundation, and that was challenging,” Fiona remembered.
Having grown up close to the airport, she watched planes fly by as a child and silently desired to one day be on the controls of those speed-birds.
It is while at the naval academy that she was able to switch campuses and settle in the Airforce unit.
“It has been my destiny to become a pilot. My grandfather always told me to never give up on my dream and now here I am,” she expressed.
and now here I am,” she expressed.
While still a student in 2017, the Colombia Air Force Academy featured her for being one of the best students in the program.
Her fluency in Swahili also came in handy as it gave her the opportunity to be enrolled in the air force’s Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP).
This is a program through which air force personnel able to speak a different language from English help in translation with the aim of the military building rapport with local populations during operations in different parts of the world.
Now known as First Lieutenant Fiona Akoth, the commissioned Air Force pilot revealed that she chose to punch above her weight as a way of inspiring others behind her on top of challenging herself to push the limits.