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Nigerian immigrant graduates into aviation industry

Posted 13 April 2021 · Add Comment

A Nigeria immigrant has overcomes incredible obstacles to graduate into aviation.


Helon Amos was originally born in Nigeria. He was the victim of a basketball talent scam that took him to the U.S. When Amos arrived in America, there was no such talent scout to meet him. After being detained for months and with the help of a local church, Amos was relocated to the Shenango Valley area where Jeff Kollar and his family took him in.  Amos eventually played basketball for Kennedy Catholic High School, winning several state championships. 


He received a few college scholarships to play basketball but he turned them down to pursue his real passion- going into the aviation industry.


In a recent interview with Youngstown NBC affiliate WFMJ-TV, Amos described his experiences. ”Not many people get to live their dreams,” Amos said. “I'm living mine." "Helon took a tough situation and turned it into an absolute positive one," said Joseph DeRamo, Director of the Youngstown Campus of Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics.


Amos is about to graduate from the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics in aviation technician maintenance with his airframe and power plant certification in May.


 “Upon graduation, he will be able to work on anything that flies,” DeRamo said. "He's had near perfect attendance in the 16 months he's been with us. His grades are phenomenal. But, it’s mostly his attitude."


While the road has been rocky, Amos wants his story to inspire others who think their dreams are too small. "I'd say go for it," Amos said. "What's the worst that could happen? They say it’s not about the destination, it's about the journey."  Amos was nominated as Student of the Year with the National Aviation Educational Organization.


Amos has accepted a job with PSA Airlines in Norfolk, Virginia to begin his career.

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