The childhood dream of Jordan Diedrick, who grew up in Cumberland, Portmore in Jamaica has come true. Diedrick, 27, now spends his days flying passengers all over the world as a pilot and flight instructor with Delta Airlines. He credits his success in reaching his goal to his mother.
Diedrick’s mother immigrated to the United States with him and his sister, seeking a better life as a single parent with two children. She made sure they remained in school and got good grades, he shared with the media in an interview, adding that he is as happy for her as she is for him. She and his stepfather helped to fund his college education and that he had what he needed to achieve his dream. Now he can use his flight benefits to let her go back to visit Jamaica any time she wants. He had always wanted to be the pilot on one of her flights bringing her to the home island and finally got the opportunity to do so in 2018. “It was the first time I brought my mom on a Delta flight. Just seeing the excitement and the proudness on her face was something memorable, and her seeing me in the uniform and passengers boarding the plane, her getting the VIP treatment from the flight attendants,” he said.
Diedrick’s aviation dream began when he was just a boy watching airplanes hum and roar in the sky above him. He used to live in Cumberland, so he would often see planes landing, and from the age of two or three, he showed a fascination with the planes. His aunt told him that when he was a child, he gave her a picture of himself piloting a plane. “So, I knew before I even knew.” When he visits friends and relatives in Jamaica, they always tell him about his childhood love of planes and flying.
Diedrick attended high school in Atlanta, Georgia, and realized that his dream of becoming a pilot was a real possibility. Initially wanting to become an astronaut – something he still considers doing – he learned about a summer aviation program geared to high school students from George Cooke, one of the family’s church friends. He started with the program at the age of 15, doing his discovery flight in a Cessna 172. The half-hour flight convinced him that he could really “have the coolest job ever!” Continuing with the program throughout his high school years, he made his first solo flight when he was 17.
After high school, he attended Middle Georgia State University and started his flight training in 2011 with about 15 flight hours. He finished the program, obtained all his ratings and licenses, and became a flight instructor. He finished the program and earned a BA degree as well in 2016. When he had accumulated enough hours, he became a full-fledged airline pilot in 2017.
Commenting his success in reaching his life-long goal, Diedrick said, “I want to thank everybody who was a part of my journey and helped me to reach where I am.”
Photo provided to Jamaicans.com by Jordan Diedrick