Most children learn about the well-known aviation pioneer, Amelia Earhart, in school. But many probably wouldn’t be able to tell you who Bessie Coleman is.
Despite being told in the 20th century that she’d never fly a plane, Bessie went on to become the first woman of African-American and Native American descent to earn her pilot’s license. That’s why eight-year-old Noa Lewis from Georgia looks up to her so much.
It’s also the reason why the little girl was upset about her second-grade class project in February. Noa and her classmates were tasked with dressing up as a historical figure and giving a presentation on the person’s life and achievements. She was assigned Amelia Earhart, but wanted Bessie Coleman instead. She was told she couldn’t.
Like her idol, Noa refused to take no for an answer. And eventually, with her mom Moniqua’s help, she convinced her teacher to change her assignment. Then, after coming up short on finding easily understandable research material, Moniqua contacted a few different museums for more information on the aviator. They didn’t disappoint.
The little girl worked very hard on her project and it showed. Noa looked adorable dressed up as “Queen Bess.” She even printed out a pilot’s license and learned some French words, detailing how Bessie moved to France to obtain her license.