Holmes, 26 from Los Angeles, California- overcame early adversity in her life to become the first Black female helicopter pilot in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Holmes’ early life was difficult to say the least: Her mother committed suicide when she was 2, and after abuse occurred in the foster home where she lived, Holmes was separated from her sibling. Afterward, Holmes bounced through the foster care system until she found stability at 17 with the people she still calls her “parents.”
Once Holmes graduated high school at the top of her class, she attended Spelman College. It was there that she became interested in the Coast Guard while volunteering at a career fair. The Coast Guard helped pay her way through college with their pre-commissioning program, and while she was working on a Coast Guard cutter, the seed of becoming a pilot began to sprout in her mind.