Lánzate and Southwest Airlines
Lánzate and Southwest Airlines
Lánzate: the bridge to success
Today we announced the winners of our Lánzate Travel Awards to deserving Hispanic students to help them continue their higher education. These students are selected with the help of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and a group of judges, comprised of college professors and professionals from around the country. For some of these students, this award is the bridge that helps them keep their family involved in their success. But don’t take my word for it, let’s hear it directly from a few of our winners:
As a second time recipient of the Southwest Lánzate Travel Award, I have already seen the role it has played in helping me achieve success. This award has provided economic support in the form of fully covered roundtrips to and from college. Putting me at the door step of the University of Michigan, this program has been a motivation to continue pursuing my dreams as I have managed to reach the institution of my choice to become an electrical engineer.
This program has also been a bridge between my life back home and reaching my goals. Returning for the holidays meant seeing my family and having their presence and support physically. That was fundamental my first year in college as I was on my own for the first time. I think that this program offers not only a method of transportation, but also the ability to see those that have always supported you and matter most.
Although the decision to attend Stanford University was my own, my undergraduate career has been a family affair. From the very beginning I understood the implications of my choice. Attending Stanford meant being away from my tight-knit Mexican family for almost four years. Furthermore, attending an out-of-state university meant financially burdening my working-class family. But as I near the end of my undergraduate career, I breathe a sigh of relief. The investment was worth it; pursuing a higher education has come with a financial and emotional price, but the gains for myself and for my family are immeasurable.
The Southwest Lánzate Award has given my family and I the opportunity to celebrate our journey. Though I have been physically apart from my family for a majority of the past three years, their long-distance love and support are the reasons why I am graduating. Consequently, it only makes sense that my parents and my brother join me next year as I proudly walk the stage. I feel fortunate that Southwest has given my family and I an opportunity that we otherwise would not have had—to close this chapter so that together we can begin the next one.
My parents have never been able to fully participate in my education. They have always been my source of strength, but their ability to be part of my education has always been limited by linguistic and financial barriers. It is difficult for me to live and study in a place my parents have never even seen. Though I can describe my college experience to them, there is always a piece missing. Enabling my parents to attend my graduation ceremony will allow them to fully become a part of my education, to share with me my successes of the past four years. The Southwest Airlines Education Travel Program enables me, for the first time, to truly share with my parents my college experience and to show them what their strength and support has allowed me to do.
With more than 3,000 applicants in the last six years, the Lánzate program is a proven successful educational program that serves underprivileged Hispanic students, providing complimentary travel for them and their families to maximize their potential and create opportunities for growth. To see the complete list of winners, visit: www.swamedia.com.
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