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Southwest Airlines Community

Mentoring Young Minds


In its 12th year, Southwest Airlines’ Continuing the Legacy in Aviation program assembled for several days of learning at the Company’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Since 2007, the program has partnered with Tuskegee Airmen Inc. to provide middle school through college students with hands-on aviation and educational experience. Throughout the year, these students are mentored by a group of Southwest® Employees known as Southwest Ambassadors.




While in Dallas, 37 students had the chance to learn from Leaders in various Southwest departments, including Network Operations Control, Inflight Training, Flight Operations Training, and Technical Operations. Students also toured the Frontiers of Flight Museum, with continued historical learning at the Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron traveling exhibit.


During the three-day program, students enjoyed access to the Southwest Airlines 737 flight simulators and listened to legendary stories from the Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen who attend the program annually. For their many years of support, Southwest is extremely grateful to the living and deceased Tuskegee Airmen and their families (Lt. Calvin J. Spann, Capt. Claude R. Platte, Master Sgt. Joseph Montgomery, Flight Officer Dr. Robert T. McDaniel, Lt. Col. Robert Ashby, Lt. Col. George Hardy, and Brigadier General Charles McGee). These World War II heroes have inspired the CTLA graduates to attend the Naval Academy and other college aviation programs, earn fighter pilot licenses and commercial pilot ratings, and serve as role models for their peers.


To top off the program in Dallas, Southwest Ambassadors awarded a trophy and certificate of completion to each student. Southwest also celebrated Documented Original Tuskegee Airman Col. Charles McGee’s 100th birthday and presented a $100,000 check—funds raised from the 2019 Southwest Airlines LUV Classic golf tournament—to the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. National Youth Activities. For more information about CTLA, including application details, visit