And Sometimes, Dreams Come True

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A young aviator at Delta State University in Jackson, Miss., started up a conversation with his passenger on a short charter flight -- the conversation changed his life. Lamar Buchanan, a 24-year-old senior, told Nelson Wilson how tough it is to cover the costs of flight training. When student loans fell short, Buchanan took to fundraising, holding spaghetti dinners and fish fries. The effort was delaying his graduation. "That was Monday when I took him flying," Buchanan told the Greenwood Commonwealth. "That next Wednesday, he came up to Delta State and paid $25,000 into my flight account. Paid for it. Not only that, but he offered me a job flying for him. His company is going to buy a plane." Wilson is CEO of BMW's Prosthetics & Orthotics in Jackson. He says he was touched by Buchananís drive and spirit. "I was impressed by how aggressive and knowledgeable he is, so I asked him how much he needed to finish his flight training," Wilson said. "I've had to struggle to get where I am today. When I met Lamar, I just couldn't say no to his need." Buchanan says he's wanted to fly since he was small and saw U.S. Air Force recruiting ads on TV. "I was inspired by my love for speed and an enormous fascination with how something as big and as heavy as a plane could fly. At that time, I had never seen a black pilot and I was determined to be one," he said. "I'll never be able to explain how it feels to know that my future is secure and that I don't have to worry about paying for my education," Buchanan said. "My dream of becoming a pilot will come true in only a few months thanks to Mr. Wilson and his family."