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Breaking Barriers for AAPI in the Air with Harley Pasiderio

San-Diego born and raised, Navy veteran Harley Pasiderio is a Southwest Airlines First Officer and Gold Seal Flight Instructor. He is also President and Founding Member of a nonprofit called Professional Asian Pilots Association. Also known as PAPA, it is dedicated to inspiring individuals to look past the barriers and encourage the pursuit of a career they wouldn’t otherwise consider. As a kid with dreams to work as an airline pilot, Harley didn’t realize how company culture or work environment would matter so much and PAPA is helping to improve that culture.

Harley remembers taking his first flight in the third grade. He traveled to the Philippines, which is where his parents are from. The short haul flight from San Diego to Los Angeles, where his family made the international connection, solidified his dream. Growing up, Harley was fortunate enough to attend Morse High School, which had an aeronautics program that offered flight lessons and ground school. Harley had his first flying lesson at just 14 years old!

As a pastime, Harley was also Principle Clarinetist for the San Diego Young Artist Symphony Orchestra and a Clarinetist for the San Diego Youth Symphony’s Wind Ensemble. After Harley graduated high school, he served his Country by joining the Navy where he would eventually become a Nuclear Reactor Operator and then Nuclear Power Instructor for the Navy.

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