People on the Move

La’Shanda Holmes featured on NBC

La’Shanda Holmes, the first black female copter pilot in the US Coast guard, and Alum of Spelman College, was featured on NBC during Black History Month. She has a compelling story, as a foster child, and a victim of abuse who has gone on to inspire those around her.


La’Shanda Holmes becomes the 1st Black Female Helicopter Pilot in Coast Guard History

Perseverance, dedication, grit, a desire to excel – these are all traits desired in a student aviator. Training in the aviation program for the maritime services is intentionally difficult to stress and push the students beyond their comfort zones so they can meet the hardships their service will entail. However, when that prospective pilot is slated to become a barrier breaker as well, those traits are not just desired, but necessary.

That Lt. j.g. La’Shanda Holmes had those traits was never in doubt. The humble, soft-spoken young woman had faced trials growing up in North Carolina that tested and tempered her desire to excel. When she walked across the stage April 9th to receive her wings as the first African-American female helicopter pilot in the U.S. Coast Guard, it was simply the next chapter of a proud story.