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Asian Pacific Islander Spotlight: Jerry Jen

Name: Jerry Jen
Involvement at Flight Path: Board Member, Governance Committee
Current Company/Title: Jen Law Firm, APC – Attorney / Founder 

 

What brought you to volunteer/join the Board at Flight Path Museum LAX?

I regularly volunteer in the community through various organizations such as the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, and the Mar Vista Family Center. During my involvement, I had numerous opportunities to visit the Flight Path Museum, attend events there, and meet many of its supporters and volunteers – which always left me with a wonderful impression and experience. I also was amazed with the organization’s mission to educate future generations, while preserving and sharing with the public the history of aviation. I was honored to recently join the Flight Path’s amazing board of directors in 2023, and look forward to working with the board, volunteers, supporters, and the public to continue promoting the Flight Path, its mission, and the many great things that the organization will continue to accomplish. 

What excites you about the Aviation Industry? 

As a science fiction fan – I have always been fascinated by aviation, as aviation has revolutionized the world in many aspects. One aspect is commerce and travel – and I like to travel. Without the history, the innovation, and growth of the aviation industry, travel to far reaching places of the world would not be regularly available as it is now. In a half day airplane flight, we can travel to countries across the world that would have taken weeks to reach without aviation. The continued innovations are also very interesting to me, such as the commercialization of drones and the new applications of aviation to our everyday lives. While we are not quite at the stage of starships such as in Star Trek and Star Wars – nevertheless, the continued growth is very exciting.   

As a member of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, what does that mean to you?

I had the fortune of being born and raised in Southern California, where diversity was a commonplace. As a first generation Asian American born to immigrant parents in California, it was not always easy for me to figure out where I fit in culturally growing up. Having to navigate the cultural, historical and stereotypical expectations, it was difficult to do so without much direction and guidance. Having access to mentors, teachers, educators, and business leaders who have gone through the same trials and tribulations have helped encourage me in my path, while allowing me to get to where I am at today. As a proud member of the AAPI community, I believe it is my obligation to do the same – to be a mentor, educator, or a resource to others. 

What challenges, if any, have you faced in your career in the aviation industry given your Asian heritage?

While I do not work directly in the aviation industry, I have many family, colleagues, and friends of Asian heritage who work in all facets of aviation. What I have seen and heard through their experiences are that while things have changed for the better, there has always been the challenge of fitting in, and having to work harder to prove themselves. 

Did you have any mentors, or did you look to others in the industry to help you navigate through these challenges?

For my family, colleagues, and friends in the aviation industry that I mentioned here – they have been able to excel in their field with the support and guidance of mentors, co-workers, industry leaders, and even folks outside of the aviation industry, whom have provided different perspectives, At the end of the day, anyway who can help guide you, share their experiences, and are open to understanding your situation (in or outside of the industry) will be helpful.     

 

What advice would you give the next generation looking to enter the aviation industry?

Start learning all you can, while making it a priority to meet and get to know people in the industry. Be open to taking alternative paths in reaching your goal – but above all, stay motivated and remember why you wanted to be part of the aviation industry in the first place.  

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