Since 1997, the Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot program has inspired more than half a million fifth-grade students across the country through fun, STEM-centered activities and experiments! Each spring, our amazing Pilots volunteer their time visiting classrooms and mentoring students as a way to build connections, spark curiosity, reinforce the importance of life values, and share about the world of aviation.
The 2022-2023 school year marks the 25th anniversary of this beloved program and we couldn’t be more proud of the impact it continues to have. We’re so thankful to all Southwest Pilots who have put their Hearts in action throughout the years to make Adopt-A-Pilot a memorable and meaningful experience for so many students.
Our Adopt-A-Pilot program connects Pilots and students, through mentorship and allows Pilots to share and leverage their extraordinary array of talents and domain expertise to bring to life STEM education through aviation and instill positive life values. Captain Nancy Martin-Belitz and First Officer Wendy Hales Mora are longtime AAP volunteers who have inspired so many students to pursue careers in aviation!
“It's very gratifying to build the children’s confidence to believe in themselves, choose their goals, and have the tenacity to achieve their dreams, shared Southwest Airlines Pilot and Adopt-A-Pilot Ambassador Nancy Martin-Belitz. “Real-world experience helps spark their math, science, and geography from a rote level to a correlation level of learning.”
Through Adopt-A-Pilot, students develop enriching mentor relationships that help their dreams soar. “It feels really good to know that someone sees my dreams and wants to go the extra step,” said Adopt-A-Pilot Mentee Philip Wong. “These people really do care about you; they’re coming to you to help you with whatever challenges you may face. They’re willing to put in the extra work so you can succeed.”
“Getting a front-row seat watching students discover, learn, and grow is inspiring!” shared Southwest Airlines Pilot and Adopt-A-Pilot Ambassador Wendy Hales Mora. “With Adopt-A-Pilot, the sky really isn't the limit; it's just a starting point!”
We can’t wait to continue celebrating this milestone program anniversary with our Customers and Cohearts throughout the 2022-2023 school year. Stay tuned for more fun Adopt-A-Pilot highlights, honoring the 25-year legacy of this program and its support of communities nationwide!