Army Veteran, Ghana Native Earns Aviation Scholarship

U.S. Citizenship Takes Flight

Emmanuel Danso was recently awarded his scholarship from Stripes to Bars

Who is Emmanuel Danso?

If you were to tell a young man living in Ghana, West Africa that he would be a pilot one day in the United States, he would have thought you were crazy.

Today we stand here watching Emannuel Danso, a man who took up his cause to serve in the United States Army, now working toward his next dream of becoming a pilot.

Before he took his first training flight, Danso served in the U.S. Army where he learned dedication, duty, honor and service. These ideals are ingrained in his character and keep him moving forward day in and day out.

We’ll get back to the flying details in a moment. We must first share the story of unfamiliar sacrifice. Many of us think we know what dedication is if asked, while people like Danso live it. His wife and daughter are still in Africa as he continues to fight his way toward the American Dream. Some may say it doesn’t exist anymore, and I challenge you to tell that to Danso.

A shining example came when we asked him what his fondest memory was from his time in the service. We weren’t shocked when he told us this:

My best memory came while I was serving in Iraq on July 4th, 2007. This is when I became a citizen of the United States of America.

– Emmanuel Danso

What can we say of Danso’s service? Simply put, his service hasn’t ended. He serves by continuing on in his mission to become a pilot. He serves his family by sacrificing his time to find a better life for him, his wife and his daughter.

One example of the service we are speaking of is where you find Danso often working 16 hour days to make ends meet. Not only is he working to help his family back home in Africa, but he is also working to fund his aviation training here in the U.S.

Enter Stripes to Bars scholarship opportunity. Danso came highly recommended and the team at Stripes to Bars knew right away he was a top contender. He has the fight, commitment and drive to become a pilot.

When asked what this scholarship meant to him, he told us, “This scholarship is a step forward for me and my family.” Danso also spoke about how the funding will, “allow me to reduce the amount of time I spend working and increase the amount of time I spend studying to progress my aviation career.”

Danso is nearing the end of his private pilot’s training and getting ready to take his check ride, which is the FAA’s exam he must pass to receive his pilot’s certification and endorsement to continue on for additional flight training.

We finished up our discussion with an inquiry about why veterans can make the best pilots. He was very direct when he told us,

Most of the veterans I know are committed and self-motivated. As a veteran, my first goal in aviation in America is a continuous service to the country. I consider myself as a keeper of prosperity and progress, which means whatever I’ll do whatever it takes to be a pilot , I must do my part to help the country succeed.

– Emmanuel Danso