In 1997, Southwest launched our Adopt-A-Pilot program which gives classrooms an opportunity to “adopt” a Southwest Pilot. Over the past 22 years, “adopted” Southwest Pilots have visited thousands of classrooms around the country, teaching an aviation-themed curriculum and impacting the lives of more 592,000 students.
First Officer Ricardo “Ricky” Gonzalez brought Adopt-A-Pilot to MAS Integrated School (MASIS) in Añasco, Puerto Rico for the first time during the 2018-2019 school year. Ricky grew up in Puerto Rico and he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share his love of aviation with the students at MASIS. This year, Ricky is sharing Adopt-A-Pilot with the students in the fourth and sixth-grade classes.
The Adopt-A-Pilot program uses lessons focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to inspire students to pursue careers in aviation. This year, Ricky not only spent several weeks in classrooms at MASIS, but he also organized a fun field trip for the sixth graders. With the help of Southwest Employees in San Juan, Ricky and 39 sixth graders toured the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in San Juan. The students learned all about the check-in process, boarding procedures, and steps taken to ready an aircraft for departure.
During the 2019-2020 school year, over 700 Pilots will be “adopted” by more than 41,000 students, no doubt helping students soar to new heights. To learn more about this program, please visit southwest.com/adoptapilot.