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Today’s Learners—Tomorrow’s Leaders

Last month I had the distinct pleasure of celebrating 30 years of excellence with the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) in the beautiful windy city of Chicago. USHLI ( attracted more than 5,000 college-bound students to their college fair, presentations by world-renowned motivational speakers, and many informative panels. The organization is steered by one of the most respected and influential Latinos of our time, Doctor Juan Andrade, Jr.

Doctor Andrade has received awards and honors from the highest levels of government both in the U.S. and Mexico; holds five Doctorate degrees; and works tirelessly to motivate and activate youth to get involved, get an education, and give back to their communities.

Just as you’re thinking—Okay, I’m sold, what a great organization … wait, it gets better!  Southwest Airlines is the official airline of USHLI.  For over 15 years, we have partnered with Doctor. Andrade and have gotten to know many of the students who have attended the national and regional conferences. Every single year, I am blown away by the talent and caliber of USHLI’s participants—we have some truly amazing students doing some incredible things out there!
In the business world, many companies base their involvement (in anything) on the return on investment, right?  Well, without seeking the guidance of Wall Street, I think I can safely say that SWA goes above and beyond when making wise investments. Our “return” is right in front of us for all to see.  I am confident that we have supported the next wave of talented teachers, doctors, scientists, musicians … maybe even the next President of the United States!  Our investments are paying off, and the future ahead looks bright!

To learn more about how Southwest Airlines is supporting the Hispanic community, please visit
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I was at the USHLI conference too and it was an amazing experience. Thanks to Lidia and Southwest Airlines USHLI held its first ever LGBT Forum. The Forum was able to highlight the similarities between the Latino and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement. I was so proud to be on the forum panel. Many students came up to me after to say thank you for being there and being visible as an LGBT Latino. It made them feel more welcome and gave them the courage to come out and be proud about being Latino and gay. Thanks Lidia and SWA...I luv'd it!
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As the former CEO for the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, I have had the pleasure of seeing these two great vehicles carry and promote the talented "next generation" of leaders. Through the USHLI, Dr. Andrade is the personification of what we wish we could all do for our own children, providing students with mentorship, leadership, and critical access to a network of resources. Nevertheless, much of that access and support would not be available without the partnership of Southwest Airlines and their awesome team of Community Affairs managers. No one works harder than Lidia Martinez to ensure that her vast network of influencial leaders and resources know about the benefits of USHLI and the tireless work of Dr. Andrade. Thank you both for your contributions.
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USHLI's work is incredibly important to the future of our country and our youth - Hispanics have the lowest college achievement rates of any ethnic group in the country and they are under-represented in the highest-need professions, like STEM careers, because they lack the understanding and resources to meet their potential! USHLI is doing amazing stuff and I applaud SWA for supporting them. SWA is always there for the work that truly matters, and I don't know that they always get the recognition they deserve for being there, day in and day out, for organizations like USHLI, HCF, HSF, etc. Gracias, Southwest Airlines!! You guys are the best.
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Great inspirational article!! Love it!!
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PCI applauds Southwest Airlines and its commitment to the Hispanic community! For over 10 years, SWA has been helping us serve “hard-to-reach” populations around the globe with critically needed health and economic development services. In San Diego and Tijuana, our California Border Healthy Start (CBHS) project and Family Health Navigator Resource Center services thousands of families annually. PCI's Ventanilla de Salud (Window of Health) program is an innovative collaboration between PCI and the Mexican Consulate of San Diego that provides health education and referrals to the thousands of consulate visitors. Southwest Airlines' financial support has been critical to the success of PCI programs. Thank you SWA!
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Thank you SWA for your commitment to making a difference in the communities you serve. LUV SWA!
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Thank you Southwest Airlines for contributing to this organization. We all know that your give out more than peanuts! We also know that you hire only the best employees that have the pulse of the community so that you know your investments make a difference...Gracias!