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Southwest Airlines Community

Earning our Wings One Weed at a Time


The following story is written by Campus Reach Intern, Lauren Gross. Lauren was the Community Programs & Engagement Intern this past summer in Culture & Communications. Read here about how our Interns truly demonstrated their Servant’s Hearts by volunteering at the Trinity River Corridor.  


I entered my Southwest Airlines Summer Internship with a list of skills I expected to learn and improve upon. I never thought that list would end up including manual labor. On Wednesday, July 20, the Summer 2016 Intern Class had the opportunity to trade spreadsheets for shovels and Outlook for outreach.


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A “Servant’s Heart” is a key value instilled in each Southwest Employee, and Interns are no exception. We did cardio for the Servant’s Heart by volunteering at the Trinity River Corridor. The Trinity River Corridor Project’s goal is to beautify and maintain Dallas’ Trinity River. The area we worked on was off Great Trinity Forest Way in Sleepy Hollow. When the cleanup is completed, this region is projected to be a small park with a relaxing river view.


A few other Interns and I were asked to work on clearing a future picnic area. The day involved lessons in using garden sheers and many lost battles with stubborn weeds (some were taller than I am). The other Interns spent the day picking up trash along the river and highway.  The 100-degree heat made the project a true Texas experience!


The Servant’s Heart Project is just a glimpse into Southwest’s unique Campus Reach Internship Program. Similar to most organizations, the program’s goal is to develop and strengthen young minds. However, Southwest’s approach sets itself apart.


As summer comes to a close, Interns everywhere are checking off boxes on the list of skills they expected to learn. After three months at Southwest, I am checking off boxes I never knew existed. Through events like the Servant’s Heart Project, Southwest Airlines develops more than resumes. Southwest’s values and Culture nurture the mind, spirit, and heart of each Employee it touches. I am walking away from this summer with a strengthened sense of self, and that goes much further than any bullet point on my resume.


Note: I’m also physically stronger because some of those weeds were really stubborn.Servants Heart 2.jpg