Gaymon Successfully Juggles Fulltime Job, Three Young Children And GTCC Aviation Program

Published on: August 5, 2021
Rozjae Gaymon successfully juggles fulltime job, three young children and GTCC Aviation Program.

On a trip to Florida when she was a young child, Rozjae Gaymon became intrigued by airplanes.

Soon she will be making repairs on the airplanes she used to dream about, thanks to perseverance, hard work and Guilford Technical Community College.

“Actually, when I was younger our family went to Universal Studios (in Orlando) and getting on the plane was a big deal for me. It’s a childhood thing, I guess. I’ve just always enjoyed planes,” said Gaymon.

The 25-year-old Gaymon is two semesters away from an associate degree in Aviation Maintenance from GTCC. She has already secured her Federal Aviation Air Frame license, which means she is certified to work on most anything to do with the body of an aircraft. She will soon have an FAA Power Plant license, certifying her to work on aircraft engines and electrical systems.

It was not a direct flight to GTCC’s aviation program for the 25-year-old Gaymon. The Buffalo, New York native moved to the Piedmont Triad in 2014, five days after graduating from high school. “I had family here and I wanted to make a new start,” she said of the move South.

Not long after her move, she enrolled at GTCC, but could not find a field she fell in love with.

“I switched up my major a couple of times. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do,” said Gaymon, who also took time off from classes before finalizing her major.

Then she had a conversation with someone who was involved in the aviation program at GTCC. “I wasn’t even aware they had the program,” said Gaymon. “That got me interested. I found somewhere I really wanted to be.”

Gaymon understood it was going to be a complex journey to reach her goal when she began classes in the aviation program two years ago. She has three young girls, two, five and six years old. She also has a fulltime job as a certified nursing assistant.

“I knew it was going to take sacrifices, but I’ve found a way to make it work,” said Gaymon.

Gaymon knew to be successful she would have to blend her life and work and classes together in a schedule and stick to it tightly. Somehow, she has managed it to perfection.

“I do have a lot going on. Really, it’s a lot going on,” she said with a laugh. “On Mondays and Fridays, I do double shifts at work. My classes are difficult. After school I get a little nap and go get my kids from day care and then from 7 to 9, I study.

“I have a set study program. It’s crucial because you only have a certain amount of time in class. You have to really read up, just the instruction is not enough.”

Gaymon said her classes are 80 to 90 percent hands on. She has learned to weld sheet metal and composites, how to work on electrical components and systems, engines, propellers … the list goes on and on.

“The hands-on part was all new to me. I’ve had to work before and I have worked on my car, changing brakes and oil and things like that. Working on airplanes is totally different,” she said.

“This is the most difficult program I’ve ever been in. On a scale of one to 10, it’s at least an 11. I feel confident in what I’m doing, but if I’m iffy on something, I go to an instructor. They will stay after class and help.

“The instructors here are absolutely amazing and knowledgeable. They are not your average instructors; their effort shows how truly committed they are in making sure students are successful in the aviation program.”

Gaymon says the aviation maintenance program comes with some pressure.

“You have hundreds of thousands of people on airplanes. One wrong thing can do a lot of damage. You have to make sure you do the right things, follow protocol. There are no shortcuts, absolutely no shortcuts,’ said Gaymon, who along with fellow student Calvin Hightower constructed a two-month study group to help prepare students for their airframe license.

Gaymon’s goal is to go to work for American Airlines after graduation and eventually enter a four-year program to get an engineer’s license and work for Boeing.

For now, though, she excited about the prospect of stepping out into the workplace.

“I’m looking forward to work. In school, it’s more of a mental thing, lots of mental stress. I feel like once I’m out of school, just working on aircraft, that would help a lot with the stress level,” she said. “But the aviation program is one of the best things I’ve ever done. It has created so much opportunity for me.” 

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