St. Louis-based mechanic Julio Vaia recently accomplished a pretty special milestone. After living in the United States for a number of years, he officially became a U.S. citizen.
Julio is originally from Peru, but later moved to Puerto Rico. After discovering that he enjoyed working on cars, Julio decided to pursue a career in aviation maintenance. As a green card holder, Julio was eligible to join the United States military, and he received his initial aviation maintenance training with the Coast Guard.
After leaving the Coast Guard, Julio went on to study aviation maintenance at Spartan College in Tulsa, where he received his Airframe & Powerplant (A & P) license. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by Trans States as a St. Louis-based Line Mechanic. At Trans States, Julio’s outstanding work ethic and attention to detail caught the attention of management, and he was quickly promoted to Floor Inspector.
However, earning his A & P and working for Trans States weren’t the only things on Julio’s plate these past several years. He was also working on completing the requirements for U.S. citizenship. Becoming a citizen can be a complicated process that can take years, and Julio remembers the day when he officially received his American citizenship as both humbling and exciting.
Julio’s citizenship ceremony took place in St. Louis, where a number of local dignitaries were on hand to greet the new citizens. “At my ceremony, two judges, the President of Saint Louis University, and the President of the Saint Louis University School of Law were there to welcome me to my new life as an American citizen,” Julio recalled. The highlight of the ceremony came at the end, when Julio exchanging his green card for his certificate of citizenship.
But even though he’s crossed becoming a citizen off his list, Julio’s to-do list isn’t complete just yet. He plans to obtain his Associate’s Degree in Aviation Maintenance, and then work towards a Bachelor’s Degree. He’d like to work in maintenance management some day, with a goal of eventually working in safety investigations.
“Trans States is still my first job in my aviation maintenance career,” Julio says, “but the opportunities I have received have already prepared me for my future.”
We’re proud that Julio has chosen to call Trans States home, and we can’t wait to see what he accomplishes next.