December 20, 2013 | York College
Dec. 17, 2013, 11:30 a.m. EST
JetBlue Encourages Students to Keep Their Heads in the Clouds With the Launch of the JetBlue Foundation
JetBlue Becomes the First Airline to Launch a Foundation Solely Focused on Aviation and STEM-Related Education and Providing Opportunities for Underserved Communities
NEW YORK, NY, Dec 17, 2013 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — JetBlue Airways JBLU -0.18% , today announces the launch of the JetBlue Foundation. At JetBlue, inspiration is more than an ideal. The airline’s mission is to inspire humanity beyond air travel. The JetBlue Foundation, a company-sponsored initiative to encourage and advance aviation-related education, will continue the airline’s efforts to place aviation top-of-mind as a career choice for students by igniting interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.
Caring, Integrity and Passion are some of the core values at JetBlue. With these values in mind, JetBlue is proud to launch this new foundation. This year, the JetBlue Foundation will provide three $25,000 grants to schools and educational alliances focusing on STEM and aviation-related programs geared towards underserved groups and communities.
On December 17, the JetBlue Foundation officially launched by providing a unique, behind-the-scenes tour of T5 at JFK Airport in New York to aspiring aviators and students. Additionally, the Foundation’s Board of Directors provided grants to three institutions that are passionate about STEM education and engage underserved students in New York and Florida. Both regions have strong and widespread aviation education initiatives at the high school and college levels and are the most progressive in building programs that prepare students for careers in aviation. JetBlue has strong education alliances in both regions.
“The sky is literally the limit for aviation students. Through the JetBlue Foundation, we will continue our efforts to put aviation on the map as a career choice for students of all ages and backgrounds. As a leader in the aviation space, we believe it is our responsibility to give back by making an investment in the future of this industry,” said Joanna Geraghty, president, board of directors, JetBlue Foundation. “Since JetBlue’s beginnings, the airline set its sights on inspiring humanity beyond air travel, not only for our customers and crewmembers but the various communities we serve. One way we have done this is by showing support for STEM programs. We recognize our responsibility to the world below our wings — to make it better and inspire others to do the same.”
JetBlue Foundation 2013 grant recipients include:
— Aviation High School (Long Island City, NY): Aviation High School, the nation’s largest public aeronautical high school, will use its grant to launch an Aviation Welding Improvement Plan to ensure students have the resources to earn an FAA certification as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician. This includes purchasing the advanced technologies and materials needed to prepare students for today’s job market. Over 2,300 students, primarily from under-represented groups, attend Aviation High School.
— CUNY Aviation Institute at York College (Jamaica, NY): With this grant, York College will develop a curriculum to establish an FAA-approved Aircraft Dispatcher Certification program, making it the first public education institution in New York to offer this type of program. More than 82% of the student population is from under-represented groups and 66% of the undergraduate student body is women.
— SUN ‘n FUN (Lakeland, FL): SUN ‘n FUN, a nonprofit organization, will use its grant to further their mission to preserve and enhance the future of flight by purchasing tools and educational items for powerplant mechanic students at Central Florida Aerospace Academy, a high school located in Lakeland, Florida. Students from Traviss Career Center, a vocational training facility, as well as Polk State College will also use these items for STEM-focused education.
“Inspiration starts here. Encouraging education in Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) and advocating for the future of aviation is how we will make a difference for our industry,” said Robin Hayes, executive director, JetBlue Foundation. “These are the areas where we need more passion and focus to carry our industry forward. In addition to grants, we will provide aviation-focused educational programs with in-kind support and our crewmembers will volunteer to make a difference among the next generation of aviators.”
The JetBlue Foundation plans to build lasting relationships with these programs beyond the initial grants including mentoring, in-kind support, internships and more. The airline already has an extensive relationship with Aviation High School (AHS). Hundreds of JetBlue crewmembers, including 80+ Technicians, received their start at Aviation High School. JetBlue is also a PENCIL partner with AHS. Several JetBlue senior leaders work with school officials including JetBlue’s CEO Dave Barger who is currently working with administrators at AHS through PENCIL. PENCIL connects business leaders and public school administrators to inspire innovation and improve student achievement.
The airline also works with CUNY Aviation Institute at York College to emphasize STEM initiatives with a focus on encouraging women to pursue careers in aviation. Last year JetBlue organized a special charter flight to the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-in & Expo in Lakeland, Florida. The airline welcomed students from schools in New York and Florida with a strong focus on STEM education for a tour of a JetBlue aircraft and to interact with crewmembers during the week-long expo for active pilots and aviation enthusiasts. A group of crewmembers also joined and shared the day with students and aviation enthusiasts from across the country.
JetBlue is focused on creating programs and opportunities that fully engage its resources to connect with its communities within the areas of Youth & Education, Community, and the Environment. JetBlue supports STEM education though a variety of initiatives. The airline hosts a unique education pathway from relationships with elementary school students and mentoring high school and college students to its University Gateway Program which leads to positions as Pilot Trainees with JetBlue.
The JetBlue Foundation is legally independent from JetBlue and has a separate Board of Directors and an Advisory Committee both made up of JetBlue crewmembers from across the airline.
To learn more about the JetBlue Foundation, visit www.jetblue.com/inspiringhumanity .
About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is a leading carrier in San Juan, New York, Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Boston, Los Angeles (Long Beach) and Orlando. JetBlue carries 30 million customers a year to 82 cities in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America with an average of 750 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. Upcoming destinations include Detroit, Mich.; and Savannah, Ga.; as well as Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, subject to receipt of government operating authority. For more information please visit JetBlue.com.
About The JetBlue Foundation
Founded in 2013, the JetBlue Foundation is committed to supporting aviation-related education in general and Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) in particular, and fostering effective programs that empower and provide opportunities to underserved students and communities. The Foundation will provide learning opportunities for underserved groups by working hand-in-hand with local and national education institutions that support and foster aviation-related programs. For more information, please visit www.jetblue.com/inspiringhumanity .