Lieutenant La’Shanda Holmes Shatters Glass Ceiling

Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Eggers

La’Shanda Holmes was born poor in North Carolina.

From the age of two she had an unstable life, constantly changing foster homes.

She found a stable home when she turned 17 and decided she wanted to change her life around.

She was a studious and involved student in high school.

Graduating at the top of her class, she got accepted to Spelman College.

It was at a career fair where she met U.S. Coast Guard recruiter Lt. Jeanie Menze.

Menze is the first African-American female aviator in the Coast Guard and instilled in Holmes the desire to fly.

She immediately joined the Coast Guard and eventually graduated form Spelman College.

Shortly after, she earned her license and rating flying helicopters, becoming the first African-American female helicopter pilot for the Coast Guard.

She is currently an assistant to the administrator of NASA in a White House program.

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