Local teen helps other young pilots reach their dreams

Angelina Tsuboi is a 17-year-old local high school senior. 

She started coding at the age of 7 when she entered a programming class at school.

"My main purpose in life is to make the world a better place by using my skill set," she said. 

Among her many skill sets, she is a pilot in training.

"I first got into flight training with the Young Eagles [program]… I was enthralled… subsequently enrolling into flight school," she said. 

"One problem I'm tackling is the financial barrier to enter into flight training."

Tsuboi was shocked to learn to get a private pilot's license costs around $10,000. 

She saw a problem to solve, especially considering the pilot shortage plaguing America. 

Consulting firm Oliver Wyman says airlines in North America will face a shortage of nearly 30,000 pilots in the next 10 years.

Tsuboi decided to help by building an app - Pilot Fast Track - for aspiring aviators. 

To help her build Pilot Fast Track, she applied to Apple's Swift Student Challenge and won.

Apple became her main supporter. 

"Pilot Fast Track hosts scholarships for all types of certifications, filtered down by how much money you need, gender, and ethnicity to uplift minority groups getting into aviation as well," she said. 

The app has thousands of users.

"We had a group of Tanzanian pilots reach out to me and told me how it was useful for them as well," she said.

Tsuboi's mom Leona said even Apple's billionaire CEO Tim Cook has taken notice of her daughter, who as a first-generation Japanese-American has made her family very proud.

"She wants to save the world," her mother said. 

Tsuboi's dream school is MIT. 

"In the future I want to be a mechatronics engineer," she said. "Specifically in aviation and aerospace sectors I want to focus on cybersecurity, and securing safety of computer systems on satellites and avionics." 

Tsuboi has some advice for her generation. 

"Be perceptive about problems and not underestimate your impact you have on the world… and always be willing to learn something new."