I had the pleasure of being a part of a wonderful aviation experience for students hosted by Southwest Airlines. We invited students from around the country to show them how our Company operates.
[asset|aid=232|format=post_small_image|formatter=imagecache|title=tour 2.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100] The event titled "Continuing the Legacy of Aviation" was made up of students from four different organizations; Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Bessie Coleman Foundation, Inc., Women’s Air force Service Pilots, and 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, D.C., Inc. The students got a wonderful surprise when they arrived to find that we also invited aviation legends from World War II; [asset|aid=229|format=post_small_image|formatter=imagecache|title=swa tour 6.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100] Women’s Air force Service Pilot (WASP) Betty Jo Reed, and Tuskegee Airmen Bob Ashby, Robert T. McDaniel, and Calvin Spann.
The students and their parents or group leaders were flown into our Dallas Headquarters for the two-day event which began with a tour of our Maintenance Facility on September 17. The students had a chance to see Mechanics working on the aircraft and were able to ask all sorts of questions; it was a wonderful experience for them.
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The following day they toured our main Headquarters andmet with Southwest Leaders and visited our Reservations, Marketing, and Inflight Departments. They finished up the day with the most exciting part of the tour, when they got the chance to go into our 737 flight simulators. [asset|aid=230|format=post_small_image|formatter=imagecache|title=swa tour 4.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100][asset|aid=231|format=post_small_image|formatter=imagecache|title=swa tour 5.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100]
Here are some of the things our guests had to say:
"My experience this week will never be forgotten and I will cherish it for a long time. The maintenance tour you gave was phenomenal. I never knew so much went on in those huge hangers. It was so fascinating to see all aspects of the maintenance facility. Especially going into the gutted plane, going into the cockpit, and seeing the infamous black box. Thank you for dedicating your time to me as well as the other participants and their parents."
Wesley Dixon (student--Snellville, Georgia)
"Cameron and I utterly enjoyed ourselves at Southwest Airlines last week. It was truly a life-changing experience. I was equally impressed with the caliber of African American male employees and fathers involved in the program. So often, the media distorts the image of the African-American male. So for Cameron to be amongst men at Southwest, the distinguished Tuskegee Airmen, Bessie Coleman, and 100 Black Men of DC, the experience left him with a strong impression and validation that he, too, can be an achiever. So again, thanks to all! These memories will be with Cameron and me forever."
Gloria L. Smith and son, Cameron (Fort Worth, Texas)