Teacher with students in the classroom

Tarek Alem '02

Tarek Alem '02
Tarek Alem '02

McLean, VA, USA

We recently met Tarek at our Senior Breakfast. Cheerful to be back at school, he was delighted to tell us about his Rochambeau memories now as an alumni. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Tarek comes from a Moroccan family. He was enrolled at Rochambeau from Maternelle to Lycée, he jokes "as my no-longer-fitting Rochambeau Forever sweatshirt can suggest" it's been quite a while since graduation!

While on campus, a yearbook photo made Tarek recall a fond memory of his time at school. In 2000, at a Rochambeau job fair, Tarek met a pilot and the rest was history. Dressed up in a flight suit and helmet, young Tarek felt his dreams closer than ever. "My lifelong friends can easily confirm that I have wanted to be a pilot for as long as I can remember". Completely enthralled by the pilot's visit, Tarek envisioned his future career in the skies.

After Lycée, he pursued a Bachelor's in Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he began to fly as an instructor. Ultimately, he accomplished his childhood dream of flying long-haul aircraft. A pilot for Delta Air Lines, he's carried passengers to and from their destinations in Europe and around the globe. Grateful and humbly inspired by his own success, he remembers, " I will never forget the first time I flew into Washington National Airport and saw children waving at us from the very same park where I used to go plane watching when I was their age. " Knowing how important his role can be to young aspiring pilots, Tarek hopes to inspire them to pursue their highest hopes and dreams.


I remember how tough my classmates and I used to think the curriculum was in the French school system. It wasn't until we left for our respective universities in the United States that we realized how much we appreciated not only the education, but also the life experiences we were fortunate to receive through Rochambeau. Whether it is the multilingualism, the worldly perspectives or the uniquely strong friendships that we were able to build, I am sincerely humbled by the opportunity to be a Rochambeau Forever alumnus.

Fly back in time and SEE young Tarek dressing up as a pilot at Rochambeau's Job Fair!