The United States of America (USA) is globally considered as a nation of opportunities, where immigrants from across the world can venture in various fields and turn their lives around.
In Kenya, stories are often told of Kenyans in diaspora, specifically the United States who are making it big in their various fields. One such story is of Captain Tom Rege, son of former Karachuonyo MP Engineer James Rege, who owns a flight training school in Virginia.
Tom moved to the United States when he was six years old. Back then, his father was pursuing higher education in the country.
His love for planes and desire to be a pilot began when he was invited to the cockpit by a pilot as he was travelling with his parents back to Kenya.
He underwent all the relevant training and grew to become an instructor and the founder of OpenAir Flight Training and The Aviation Foundation.
File image of Captain Rege at an airstrip. [Photo: Courtesy]
“I have a foundation and we support programs and outreach in aviation for women and minorities. I’m also the director of flight training for open Air. I’m a certified flight instructor and we have a team of flight instructors, people come to train with us to become pilots,” he said during a 2018 interview with Alex Chamwada’s Daring Abroad.
According to Captain Rege, his foundation takes part in Leesburg, Virginia Board of Aviation Expo where they raise funds for charity purposes, specifically offering scholarships to his students.
He notes that the event raises an average of USD250,000 which is equivalent to over Sh25 million.
He owns several planes including a Cirrus SR20 which he uses for training his students. The 5-seater plane is estimated to be worth over Sh65 million.
To enhance safety during the training exercises, the plane has an inbuilt parachute that can safely lower it in case of any unfortunate occurrences.
By the time of the interview, Captain rage had accumulated over 800 flight hours, with his longest being a 5-hour flight from Leesburg to Key West, Florida.
Tom is one of many Kenyans in diaspora who are lifting the country’s flag up high. Other Kenyans who are doing great in the diaspora include; Prof Washington Ochieng who is said to be the brain behind London’s transport system and Ibrahim Onami; a Kenyan-content creator based in Minnesota among others.