JIS News

Children are being encouraged to follow their dreams with determination, in order to ensure success in life.
This was the charge given yesterday (August 6), by Captain Barrington Irving, the 23 year-old Jamaican who recently became the first black pilot and youngest person to fly solo around the world, covering some 26,000 miles in a single-engine aeroplane.
Captain Irving told children at the Maxfield Park Children’s Home that they would always encounter persons who would try to dissuade them from pursuing an idea or a dream.
“For two and a half years they told me I couldn’t do it, that I’m too young, or too poor or not smart enough, that I don’t have the experience and there’s no way I can fly around the world, and here I am today,” he said.
“Flying around the world is very dangerous and very challenging. I had to deal with different customs, languages, fly through airspaces such as Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, places where you can be shot down.
So, I had to focus and the same way I had to focus, then it is the same way you all have to focus now on whatever dream you have,” Captain Irving said.
Challenging the children to consider aviation as an area worthy of pursuing, he pointed out that there were many careers in aviation. “It’s up to you guys to be the future pilots, the future air traffic controllers and engineers.and you can do it. You know how I know you can do it, because I’m living proof,” he said.
Captain Irving said he started out with nothing, only a dream which began at age 15 after being inspired by a pilot, Captain Gary Robinson. That was when he decided to become a pilot, regardless of what anyone said to change his mind.
“I didn’t care what they said or who laughed at me or said negative things. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you have or don’t have, you guys have the chance to get an education, to become somebody. What matters is if you say you want to do something in life and you make sure you do it,” he emphasised.
Captain Irving told the audience that he began by washing aeroplanes, because he did not think he was too good to do that job, and he had set his goal of becoming a pilot. “No one is going to feel sorry for you, you have to realise that. If you say you want to be successful, it’s up to you to be focused and not let anyone stop you from achieving your dream,” he told the children.
He challenged them to go about achieving their goals one step at a time, and from one point to the next.Captain Irving and his parents arrived in the island on Friday, August 3 as the specials guests of the Government. They took part in several civic activities islandwide. They depart the island today (August7).

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