What do you get when you combine Pilots, students, and a passion for aviation? A life-changing program that has inspired and engaged more than half a million students and nearly 14,000 Pilots since 1997!
For the past 25 years, our Adopt-A-Pilot® Program has inspired thousands of fifth graders through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-centered activities, connecting Southwest Pilots with classrooms to engage students in aviation-related lessons.
We first kicked off our milestone celebrations last October when we engaged our Employees to vote on their favorite design for the anniversary special-edition tie! Here’s a
fun fact: when we held the voting, we knew the amazing tie YOU helped select would serve as inspiration for our next surprise—the unveiling of an Adopt-A-Pilot aircraft adorned with a nose decal and fuselage artwork!
The Adopt-A-Pilot decal-branded aircraft was unveiled at a celebration in Dallas, bringing together former and current participants of the AAP program. Fifth-grade students from Ethridge Elementary School, who adopted a Southwest Pilot for the 2022-2023 school year, had the chance to join in on the fun and see the plane up close and personal during the unveiling celebration! And, because Southwest LUVS to surprise and delight, we made a one-time $10,000 donation to Ethridge Elementary School to purchase necessary supplies and equipment for STEM education.
For the next six months, this aircraft will fly across the Southwest system to honor the milestone anniversary, so be on the lookout for it!
“The excitement and love that this Company and these Pilots have for our community and the children – it just exudes,” said Adopt-A-Pilot Ambassador Captain Nancy. “Nothing feels better than when you can give back and then when you see the impact it makes.”
Southwest Pilots lead with Heart by sharing their passion and aviation knowledge with the next generation. We appreciate their time and dedication to Adopt-A-Pilot and know the program will continue to SOAR for the next 25+ years!