The JetBlue Foundation 2020 Year in Review

Jan 28, 2021 12:30 PM ET
Newsletter

Early in the pandemic, as many school districts throughout the country shifted to virtual learning, issues such as the digital divide became apparent. The lack of access to technology especially in underserved communities became clear. The JetBlue Foundation and its Ambassadors quickly jumped into action to donate refurbished laptops to students in need so their STEM path wouldn’t be deterred. Throughout the summer and fall, the JetBlue Foundation created virtual programming with partners including Project ScientistOrganization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), Artists for Humanity and Tools & Tiaras to continue to spark an interest in STEM and aviation among students. The JetBlue Foundation also recently created a pandemic rapid response granting cycle for previous grantees who were severely impacted by the pandemic.

Immediate Needs & Virtual Programming

The JetBlue Foundation Supports OBAP Girls Launch Event

Last fall, the JetBlue Foundation’s longstanding partner – OBAP organized its first-ever Girls LAUNCH event. This virtual event, which was supported by JetBlue, provided girls and women of all ages with interactive experiences and intimate conversations with female aerospace professionals to boost interest in the unlimited opportunities in aerospace at a young age.  Women and girls of all ages attended this afternoon of exploration and inspiration. Volunteers from the Foundation, as well as JetBlue’s Women in Flight crewmember resource group shared their aviation journeys with approx. 1,000 middle school, high school, and college students

The JetBlue Foundation Wins a PR News CSR Award Highlighting Ongoing Partnerships with Project Scientist

The JetBlue Foundation recently won a PR News CSR & Nonprofit Award for Best Video Initiative for a piece focusing on its longstanding partnership with Project Scientist. Much like the JetBlue Foundation, Project Scientist has established a robust and focused STEM pipeline to advance girls and women, of all ages, in their STEM interests and passions. This award-winning video highlights the efforts both organizations have taken to inspire girls to explore careers in aviation and STEM. Check out the video here.

Puerto Rico Aircraft Maintenance Institute (PRAMI) Replaces Library Destroyed by Hurricane Maria

Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017, JetBlue and the JetBlue Foundation pledged support for the island’s recovery. To help ensure a strong STEM future, the JetBlue Foundation partnered with the Puerto Rico Aircraft Maintenance Institute (PRAMI) to help rebuild their library and replace equipment that was destroyed in the hurricane. Hector Camacho, JetBlue’s General Manager in San Juan visited the campus for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Institute's new building and meet some of Institute's promising new graduates.

The JetBlue Foundation and Barclays Host STEM Panel During HBCU Week

Last fall, the JetBlue Foundation, along with its partners at Barclays, co-hosted a panel during HBCU Week. As banking and aviation aren’t often top of mind as traditional career choices, the Foundation and Barclays joined forces to host an interactive discussion for 300 middle and high school students and prospective HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) students entitled “Don’t Be Stumped By STEM” exploring pathways to the many careers in aviation and finance.

HBCU Week 2020 was an overwhelming success with more than 6,200 students in attendance. Watch a replay of the panel discussion here and for more information on HBCU Week visit www.hbcuweek.com.

Atlantic Technical College Virtual Mentorship Program

Last year, JetBlue Foundation Ambassadors kicked off a virtual aviation mentorship program with students at Atlantic Technical College in South Florida. This program was created in partnership with Prosperity Broward, a local initiative that seeks to overcome systemic racial barriers to success.

This virtual mentorship program will allow students to connect with JetBlue leaders to ask in-depth questions and understand the various career paths in aviation. The program started with an overview of jobs within JetBlue’s technical operations, ground operations and pilot ranks. Every two weeks JetBlue crewmembers will host 45-minute breakout sessions, presentations and live Q&As to connect with students interested in aviation. 

Artists for Humanity

This past November, JetBlue Foundation Ambassadors led a one and a half hour virtual session with 40 of Artist for Humanity's 3D and Graphic Design Studio students from Boston. This program was created to allow students to learn more about the role design plays in the JetBlue brand and onboard experience.

This virtual program allows students to connect with JetBlue leaders to ask in-depth questions and understand the various career paths in aviation. The program started with an overview of the role of design within a business, followed by an in-depth look at day-to-day work of a JetBlue Senior Product Designer. Examples of projects were also explored, such as interior design and how they involve collaboration between the brand, the digital space, and physical JetBlue space. 

Rapid Response Grants Help Organizations Impacted by the Pandemic to Survive

The JetBlue Foundation recently issued an emergency granting cycle specifically for select past grantees that were heavily impacted by the pandemic. These organizations actively working to advance diversity, social justice and racial and gender equity demonstrated a substantial and increased need for financial support to continue their important work reaching underrepresented students and communities. Race, gender and economic disparity disproportionality affect communities of color and women and girls, and this became more obvious during the coronavirus pandemic. These funds will help sustain these grantees in achieving their missions.

Congratulations to Grantees:

Meet the new JetBlue Foundation Board Members

The JeBlue Foundation is excited to welcome new board members –  Ed Baklor, Vice President Inflight Experience; Amy Burr, Director Operations and Partnerships - JetBlue Technology Ventures; Brian Friedman, Director Legal; Michelle Girkinger, Director Airline Partnerships and Mohsin Raza, Fleet Manager Tech Ops. Board members represent JetBlue’s various workgroups and subsidiaries to ensure there is diversity of thought, experience and perspectives in the programs the Foundation supports and the students it reaches. 
 
They will join existing JetBlue Foundation board members including Ursula Hurley, Board Officer, President; Icema Gibbs, Board Officer, VP of Programs; Shawn Holdridge, Board Officer, Treasurer; Robin Hayes, Executive Director; Joanna Geraghty, Board Director; Tom Lloyd, Board Director, Sys Ops; Giselle Cortes, Board Director, International Blue Cities; Jim Sullivan, Board Director, Flight Ops and Tamara Young, Board Director, Communications. 
 
For more information on the JetBlue Foundation board of directors click here.

Stay Up to Date on JetBlue Foundation Programming

We created a JetBlue Foundation LinkedIn Group as a channel for our partners, grantees, STEM and aviation educators and our Ambassadors to connect with each other and us and to spark STEM-related conversations. If you are not a member of this group, click here to join.
 
For more information on the JetBlue Foundation and its partners, grantees and granting criteria, visit www.JetBlueFoundation.org.

The JetBlue Foundation seeks out programs focusing on communities traditionally underrepresented in STEM and aviation fields including women, minority groups and veterans. Beyond just grants, the JetBlue Foundation provides programming, mentoring, internships and more to make a difference for the next generation of aviators, dispatchers, aircraft mechanics and pilots.  For more information or updates, visit JetBlueFoundation.org. Over the past seven years, the JetBlue Foundation has built ongoing relationships with more than 90 aviation and STEM-focused programs and provided in-kind support and grants to help these programs take off and soar.