JetBlue For Good - Youth and Education: Preparing for Takeoff

Aug 17, 2020 1:30 PM ET
Summary: 

JetBlue works to inspire humanity, not just in the air or in the terminal, but everywhere we touch down. We want to leave a legacy of good in every city where we operate and beyond. To make this truly inclusive, we asked our customers and crewmembers to help us shape our social impact strategy. From that process came our umbrella platform, JetBlue For Good, which focuses on three key areas that our stakeholders are passionate about: Youth and Education, Community and the Environment.

JetBlue For Good focuses on education, sparking imagination through reading, building strong communities, restoring after natural disasters and working to conserve the environment. For 15 years, JetBlue For Good has impacted the lives of thousands of people across JetBlue’s network in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. 

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We’re committed to fostering a world where young people, no matter their background, can reach their dreams. As a pillar of JetBlue For Good, our youth and education efforts focus on providing kids from underserved areas the resources needed to obtain a quality education and sustainable careers. We do this through various initiatives including donating age-appropriate books to areas where books are scarce outside of school walls. We also host regular career days that help expose young adults to the careers available to them upon graduation and beyond.

Specifically focused on instilling a passion for science, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers in aviation, the JetBlue Foundation is a pivotal part of our mission to reach minority youth through hands-on, educational experiences. The JetBlue Foundation works with various nonprofit partners, colleges, technical schools and our very own crewmembers to host events that inspire careers in STEM-related fields.

No career or level of education should be out of reach. So, together with our customers, crewmembers and community partners we’re in the business of turning flights of fancy into reality.

The JetBlue Foundation: Inspiring the Future of Aviation

One of the most important ways we are working to ensure the future of our industry is through the JetBlue Foundation, a company-sponsored private foundation and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on raising awareness for careers in STEM and aviation.

Understanding that women and people of color are acutely underrepresented in the airline industry in careers such as pilots, engineers, mechanics and technicians, the JetBlue Foundation was created in 2013 to help close this gap. Since its inception, the JetBlue Foundation has built lasting relationships with more than 90 STEM and aviationfocused programs and provided over $1.7 million in grants and in-kind support to help these programs take off.

“The JetBlue Foundation is creating clearer career pathways for the next generation in aviation. We’re focused on investing in the education of our children and the future of our industry.” – Ursula Hurley, President, JetBlue Foundation

A career in aviation should never be out of reach. So, together with our customers, crewmembers and community partners we’re in the business of turning dreams into reality. Here are just a few of the ways we do this. 

The JetBlue Foundation focuses on four main areas:

  • Partnering with organizations and communities to provide access to STEM programs for students from traditionally underserved communities;
  • Investing in programs geared toward students from diverse backgrounds to create a lifelong interest in STEM as early as possible in a student’s academic career;
  • Creating equal opportunities and increasing access for all students to spark a passion for STEM; and
  • Building a more diverse talent pipeline for the aviation industry.

Our mission is accomplished with a combined effort from crewmembers, and our nonprofit partnerships and business partners. From these resources, we provide grants to qualified education organizations in our BlueCities.

Aviation Career Exploration (ACE) Academy

The JetBlue Foundation prepares the future talent pipeline of aviation by supporting the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) and its ACE Academy. This program gives students ages 14-18, from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, hands-on experience and the opportunity to learn directly from JetBlue pilots and other aviation professionals.

Each summer, the JetBlue Foundation and OBAP hosted seven ACE Academy programs within JetBlue’s network. In total, more than 300 students participated in the programs. For many, ACE is the beginning of a lifelong love for aviation. Our future will be built by the brightest and most diverse students of today and we can’t wait to see how high they soar. 

STEM Expedition Summer Academy

In 2018 and 2019, JetBlue and the JetBlue Foundation partnered with Project Scientist to introduce STEM education and aviation careers to girls from traditionally underrepresented communities. Both the JetBlue Foundation and Project Scientist believe that a strong foundation of STEM education sets up girls for a successful future. Over the past two summers, the JetBlue Foundation hosted 60 Project Scientist girls each year as part of the STEM Expedition Summer Academy.

Girls ages 4-12 visited Long Beach Airport in Southern California for a behind-the-scenes look at JetBlue’s operations. JetBlue pilots and other crewmembers volunteered to provide a hands-on experience to demonstrate what a career in aviation looks like. In 2019, the STEM Expeditions Summer Academy also included a tour of the University of California Los Angeles campus to provide a glimpse of what college life is like.

Even More Girls – In Tech

In 2018, JetBlue, the JetBlue Foundation, JetBlue Technology Ventures and Girls in Tech collaborated on a special event, “Even More Girls – In Tech.” Girls in Tech is a nonprofit that focuses on empowering girls and women who are passionate about technology. Nearly 50 girls ages 12-15 learned leadership skills from JetBlue senior leaders and Girls in Tech CEO and Founder, Adriana Gascoigne. The event kicked off with a Power Breakfast panel featuring Oscar® nominee Ava DuVernay, director of Disney’s epic sci-fi adventure, “A Wrinkle in Time.” Throughout the day, attendees were introduced to technical skills such as coding that are critical for STEM-related careers. 

The Even More Girls – In Tech event helped launch JetBlue’s “Even More Girls” career awareness programming which brings girls and women together to showcase the range of careers available with JetBlue.

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