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Southwest Airlines Community

Southwest Airlines and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

Southwest Airlines and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) teamed up 11 years ago to find a solution to the number one barrier keeping Latino students from graduating from college—the inability to stay connected with family while away at school.  Through the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! travel award, Southwest Airlines is able to connect deserving students with what’s important in their lives by providing complimentary airfare to travel home and see their families while they’re away from home pursuing higher education.  Through this invaluable program, Southwest and HACU have provided travel to more than 800 students and we look forward to continuing this proud tradition in the future. Southwest Airlines and the HACU are proud to join the nearly 150 public and private sector organizations who answered the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ 25th anniversary call to action.  Together we made a commitment to not only continue the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! travel award, but to increase the positive difference it makes in the lives of students throughout the country. “By offering a program that supports student’s higher education goals and travel awards to families who might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit with their college-bound student, Southwest Airlines is making a great contribution to Hispanic success in higher education,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities congratulates the student recipients and Southwest Airlines for giving flight to higher education success.” In 2015, Southwest Airlines and HACU awarded 101 students with complimentary roundtrip airfare as part of the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! travel award.  This year, more than 600 students, from freshmen through graduate students, submitted essays displaying their need and desire for travel on Southwest Airlines.  In the application essays, students wrote about their personal experiences and the importance of staying connected with their families while pursuing higher education away from home.  A panel of judges made up of college professors and educational advocates met to determine the award recipients. Recipients were awarded between one and four roundtrip tickets for travel for themselves or a family member.  Southwest awarded 192 tickets this year to encourage students to continue pursuing their dreams in higher education.  To see the full list of winning students, please visit: Southwest is dedicated to serving the Hispanic community, and the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! travel award is one of the many ways the airline gives back.  To learn more about Southwest Airlines’ efforts in the Hispanic community, please visit