Throughout 2021, we have had so much fun commemorating Southwest Airlines’ 50 th Anniversary! We have celebrated in many ways, including announcing The Birthday Party Project as the official community partner of our 50 th Anniversary. We were honored to help The Birthday Party Project and their 60 agency partners work toward their mission of bringing joy to children experiencing homelessness through the magic of birthday celebrations.
The year began with a $50,000 grant to The Birthday Party Project from the Southwest Airlines Foundation, a corporate-advised fund within the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The donation was used to expand their reach by supporting growth to new markets and partnerships with new agencies. The donation was followed by an opportunity for Employees around the system to write birthday cards for The Birthday Party Project to send out. Nearly 2,000 birthday cards were written to share birthday wishes with children all year long!
In honor of Southwest’s birthday month, we hosted a toy drive during the month of June. Employees from more than 50 Southwest locations collected toys to share with The Birthday Party Project. More than 2,000 gifts were donated, totaling a value of more than $50,000. There is no doubt the generosity of our Employees made a tremendous impact on the children! Our Senior Management Committee even volunteered to stuff 700 Parties in a Bag. Many fun gifts were added to the bags to share with kids unable to attend a birthday party in person.
In August, we teamed up with Interfaith Dallas, Tiff's Treats, and Southwest the Store to throw a party for nearly 50 kids in the Dallas area. These deserving children enjoyed bowling, games, crafts, and Tiff Treat’s together during an epic celebration. As the kids departed the event, we provided each one with a backpack full of school supplies for the upcoming school year.
To wrap up our year-long partnership with The Birthday Party Project, we invited their partner agencies to pick out three yard games for use during future celebrations—such as giant tic-tac-toe, jumbo ring toss, Plinko boards, and more! The games will arrive later this month, and we know the children and their families will have lots of fun playing together.
This year has been a thrilling celebration with The Birthday Party Project. As the year wraps up, we encourage you to spread joy and kindness wherever you are!
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Birthday Party Project—the official community partner of our 50 th Anniversary—works with agencies across the country to bring children experiencing homelessness the gift of joy through birthday parties. To continue to showcase our commitment to Birthday Party Project and work towards our goal of sharing one Million Acts of Kindness, we recently teamed up with Interfaith Dallas, Tiff's Treats, and Southwest the Store ® to throw a party for 45 kids in the Dallas area.
Masks couldn’t hide the smiles on the faces of these deserving children! The kids bowled, played games, did crafts, enjoyed Tiff's Treats, and went home with school supplies. It was a great way to celebrate the end of summer and get ready for the school year.
In June, our Employees put their Hearts in Action to support Birthday Party Project through a Companywide toy drive. More than 1,500 Southwest Employees from over 50 Southwest locations donated gifts valued at more than $50,000. The generosity of our Employees truly made an impact on these children and will continue to do so for so many others!
Interested in getting involved with Birthday Part Project or becoming a Birthday Enthusiast? Learn more https://www.thebirthdaypartyproject.org/get-involved/.
For more on Southwest and The Birthday Party Project, check out these blogs: Putting our Heart in Action for The Birthday Party Project and Celebrate The Birthday Party Project With Us!
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Last month, Southwest Airlines challenged its S Employees to put their Heart in Action and help celebrate the official community partner of our 50th Anniversary, the Birthday Party Project, through a Toy Drive during the month of June.
To participate, Employees were asked to donate toys to the Birthday Party Project to be gifted to children experiencing homelessness around the country. And, WOW – did our Employees deliver!
More than 2,200 gifts sent via The Birthday Party Project Amazon wish list.
More than 1,500 Southwest Employees donated gifts.
In total, toys donated are valued at more than $50,000.
More than 50 Southwest locations participated.
We are thrilled to support The Birthday Party Project and our local communities! Our Employees were a huge part of helping bring joy to children experiencing homelessness through the magic of birthday parties.
Ready to join the celebration as well? You can make a donation via their website, or by shopping their Amazon wish list.
Be sure to let us know how you are showing your support by using #HeartinAction Be sure to check out ‘Celebrate The Birthday Party Project With Us!’ for more on the Southwest and The Birthday Party Project.
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At Southwest Airlines, our Heart doesn’t just give back—it gives forward and we are always looking for ways we can best support the communities around us. Today is Earth Day and in celebration of honoring the earth’s precious resources and our 50 th anniversary, we are working with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to plant 1,000 trees for each of our 50 years of service. That’s an incredible 50,000 trees that will be planted throughout California, Georgia, and Oregon in service of the Planet!
As the trees grow, the carbon they can sequester is equivalent to an estimated 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.* That is similar to emissions from a 737-800 flying 2,700 times between Dallas and Houston, or the emissions of approximately 45,000 passengers flying roundtrip between Oakland and Honolulu.** This reforestation effort will help support wildfire recovery, restore native ecosystems, improve water and air quality, mitigate climate change, and reduce soil erosion and heat island effect.
In honor of Earth Day, we encourage you to donate to NFF by visiting swa.is/treeplanting. For every dollar donated, one tree will be planted – supporting efforts to conserve our nation's forest, watersheds, wildlife, and recreation resources. Every donation will also count towards our one million Acts of Kindness challenge!
Protecting our Planet for future generations is important to Southwest and we’re excited to facilitate projects that help support our drive to be a good environmental steward. As a Company, it’s important we take meaningful steps to reduce our environmental footprint and preserve our Planet’s resources. In addition to working with like-minded organizations such as NFF, Southwest is also committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. We recognize conservation can be more impactful when we all work together for a more sustainable future.
*Per tree carbon estimates provided by the NFF. Carbon sequestration from this project will not be converted to carbon offsets.
** Estimated using fuel consumption data from The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for Boeing 737-800 aircraft
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This post has been updated for Fall 2020 learning.
Southwest Airlines knows that t he Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought additional challenges for many, including two of the hardest working groups of people—teachers and parents. Virtual learning can be challenging for everyone involved, a nd we want to help you get away from the usual curriculum.
Our first lesson involves one of the four forces of flight: lift!
Teachers and Parents: Please scroll to the bottom for more Adopt-A-Pilot learning resources!
In 1997, Southwest Airlines launched our Adopt-A-Pilot program which gives classrooms an opportunity to “adopt” a Southwest Pilot. Since our award-winning program first launched, Southwest Pilots have visited thousands of classrooms around the country, teaching an aviation-themed curriculum and impacting the lives of more 632,000 students.
Since Pilots are unable to visit classrooms, we are bringing the Adopt-A-Pilot program to you through a series of videos and lessons , allowing t eachers and parents to supplement their virtual learning curriculum with STEM- cen tered content. These activities and experiments are taught by Pilots and designed to show teachers and parents various ways to engage the curiosity of fifth-grade students. Although, teachers and parents may be able to adjust this education programming to engage other age groups. Throughout the semester we plan to update this post with virtual lear ning ideas , so please bookmark it.
Teachers and Parents, no matter how your plans may have changed—we hope these Adopt-A-Pilot lessons will provide some fun and innovative content for your students, or at home!
Coloring Book & Experiments Packet (PDF Attached)
Teachers and parents, print out this Coloring Book & Experiment packet for some fun Adopt-A-Pilot activities you can do at home, or remotely!
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Championing communities is at the Heart of Southwest Airlines. We have a long history of giving back to the places where our Employees and Customers live, work, and play. In 2018 we launched the Southwest Airlines Charitable Grant, providing a total of $1 million to innovative national and local nonprofits making a difference in communities around the globe.
Last December, Southwest announced the 24 recipient organizations of our charitable grant program. The grants ranged from $25,000-$50,000 and focused on leadership development, STEM education, and workforce development. Supporting these types of organizations not only builds stronger communities but addresses a real business need—ensuring we have a strong Employee pipeline in the years to come.
These innovative nonprofit organizations have been hard at work making meaningful impacts with the funds they received. Take a look at the inspiring accomplishments each organization has achieved thus far!
Arnold Air Society -Silver Wings
Program expanded to include 10 scholarships for African American students that will be distributed during the academic year.
Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE)
Fifteen CAUSE Leadership Academy (CLA) college undergraduates in Los Angeles and Orange County were empowered to lead and represent the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. Students spent nine weeks placed in a variety of public, private, or nonprofit sector internships.
East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC)
Approximately 200 youth received professional development and leadership training.
Approximately 90 youth served as paid youth leader interns and participated in work-based learning at the EOYDC.
More than 95 percent of youth successfully transitioned to the next grade level after participating in the work-based learning internship.
More than 500 children and youth received support from EOYDC youth leaders through their involvement in EOYDCs programs.
Hispanics in Philanthropy
Staff developed and refined the curriculum of the Latinx Líderes Program, now in its fourth year, to create a program that advances the development of mid-career Latinx leaders.
The largest cohort to date, with 31 new program participants, has been announced. The cohort consists of emerging nonprofit and philanthropic leaders from across the U.S., including Puerto Rico, and one leader from Mexico.
Ocean Discovery Institute
A total of 150 students will be served through the Leaders Initiative, creating the next generation of science and conservation leaders. Seventy middle school and high school students have been served to date through this initiative.
One hundred percent of high school seniors involved with the program have graduated high school and moved into higher education.
National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders
Selected 20 fellows for the ninth cohort, the largest class to date.
MANA de San Diego
MANA reached 117 Latina youth and 32 Latina professionals through the 2018-2019 Hermanitas Youth Leadership Mentor Program (Hermanitas) and 2019 Latina Success Leadership Program (Latina Success). Participants in the program build leadership skills and take steps to improve their professional success.
Hermanitas empowered 67 Latina youth in middle and high school to explore various career paths, build essential life skills, and make progress achieving their educational goals. All 13 seniors graduated high school on time and will begin post-secondary education in the fall.
The Women's Foundation of California
In February, Women’s Policy Institute (WPI)-Local graduated 19 fellows who had successfully completed the year-long fellowship in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Monterey counties.
In August, WPI-State graduated its 15th class of 30 fellows.
100 Black Men of Atlanta
The program has reached more than 5,000 students through Robotics, Saturday School, Leadership and Community activities, and a Lecture Series.
Started a Code-A-Thon program for students in grades 9-12.
SciTech Institute (formerly Arizona Technology Council Foundation)
The 2018-2019 global cohort consisted of 720 CSOs (Chief Science Officers). Of that number, 556 CSOs were from six U.S. states and 164 CSOs from two countries.
Children First Fund - The Chicago Public Schools Foundation
The Air Force Academy High School (AFAHS) is in the process of expanding STEM education with more meaningful aviation experiences.
AFAHS revamped its Flight Lab with cutting-edge supplies and equipment needed to support student learning in aviation. Grant funds enabled the school to purchase two new virtual reality simulators. The simulators allow a single student to fly with a headset, which perfectly simulates the views and sounds from the cockpit of any model plane taking off from any major airport in the world.
Code Nation (formerly ScriptEd)
Code Nation served a total of 1,420 students nationally in the 2018-2019 school year, consisting of 1,151 Intro to Web Development (formerly Foundations) students and 269 Fellowship (formerly Advanced & Studio) students, all supported by a team of 269 volunteers from the tech industry.
Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas
The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas partnered with Title 1 Dallas ISD Schools to make the STEM Center of Excellence a field trip destination to 1,027 girls from Dallas, Longview, and Tyler in grades first through ninth.
More than 446 girls participated in STEM-themed overnight and week-long camps; 925 girls attended STEM-themed day camps.
Greater Milwaukee Committee for Community Development
Nine students enrolled in two aviation courses for the fall semester.
Textbooks and tools were purchased for students in the aviation mechanics program. Students began their first college aviation course and have taken two field trips: one to General Mitchell International Airport to see the Southwest operations, and another to the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) Aviation Center.
St. Louis Science Center
During summer 2019, six discovery flights were completed with teens at a local flight training company. Additional flights are planned for teens this fall. Students spend time in the air practicing stalls, emergency landings, and being invited to take off/land.
During the 2018-2019 school year, 5,673 students were served through the A’STEAM program [Afterschool-Science, Technology, Engineering, Art (Design), and Mathematics] at 150 sites. Additionally, more than 800 students were served through YMCA Apartment Outreach efforts (Opportunity Centers) and YMCA Early Care preschool and toddler programs.
A new fellowship partnership with Ruthie's Rolling Café, now "Ruthie's Rolling Café Powered by Café Momentum," was established. Café Momentum will add a second food truck to the Ruthie's partnership, enabling more interns to transition to the next step after Café Momentum with a degree of support.
In Q1 and Q2 2019, 81 percent of orientation participants progressed to intern status.
One hundred percent of interns who successfully exited the program have found employment post-program.
Career Learning & Employment Center for Vets with Disabilities, Inc. (Operation: Job Ready Veterans)
Over 75 veterans and military family members attended the five-day VETS seminar. Participants were provided:
Career interest and work value assessments
Connections to Success
Eighty-one women have been served by programs, including a bi-weekly Connect group, monthly Professional Women’s Group, and Life Transformation Coaching. Of that number, 22 women have completed the full Personal and Professional Development (PPD) training.
Sixty-four percent of women that have gone through PPD are employed and earning a median wage of $12.79/hour.
Hallmark University Inc.
Hallmark University kicked off the Aeronautics College Head Start Institute (Aero CHI program) with a partnership with North East Independent School District. The program has since expanded its partnership with a second school district, San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD).
One cohort of the Aeronautics College Head Start Institute has graduated.
Bridges from School to Work (formerly Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities, Inc.)
Provided service to 14 high schools in Clayton County and Fulton County to identify, recruit, assess, and enroll 60 students receiving special education services.
Five high school students with disabilities have been enrolled and placed in jobs.
Sword to Plowshares Veterans Rights Organization
Served and stabilized nearly 200 veterans and enrolled 126 veterans in employment and training services in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Provided employment assistance integrated with wraparound supportive services to 196 homeless and low-income Bay Area veterans.
Women's Bean Project
Supported the hiring of 33 low-income women in the transitional employment program.
Sixty-one percent of program participants who completed the probationary period graduated the program with fundamental workplace competencies, and 100 percent of graduates were placed in career entry-level jobs.
In 2019, there has been a 25 percent increase in senior graduates from the prior senior cohort.
Two hundred and thirty-six rising seniors from 19 different public high schools started the school year having completed meaningful work experience via the YouthForce Internship program.
The impacts of the Southwest Airlines Charitable Grant funding will continue to be seen as these organizations share their hearts and bring people together. We are thrilled to support the efforts of these 24 extraordinary organizations and will continue to champion communities across the globe.
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In 1997, Southwest launched our Adopt-A-Pilot program which gives classrooms an opportunity to “adopt” a Southwest Pilot. Over the past 22 years, “adopted” Southwest Pilots have visited thousands of classrooms around the country, teaching an aviation-themed curriculum and impacting the lives of more 592,000 students.
First Officer Ricardo “Ricky” Gonzalez brought Adopt-A-Pilot to MAS Integrated School (MASIS) in Añasco, Puerto Rico for the first time during the 2018-2019 school year. Ricky grew up in Puerto Rico and he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share his love of aviation with the students at MASIS. This year, Ricky is sharing Adopt-A-Pilot with the students in the fourth and sixth-grade classes.
The Adopt-A-Pilot program uses lessons focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to inspire students to pursue careers in aviation. This year, Ricky not only spent several weeks in classrooms at MASIS, but he also organized a fun field trip for the sixth graders. With the help of Southwest Employees in San Juan, Ricky and 39 sixth graders toured the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in San Juan. The students learned all about the check-in process, boarding procedures, and steps taken to ready an aircraft for departure.
During the 2019-2020 school year, over 700 Pilots will be “adopted” by more than 41,000 students, no doubt helping students soar to new heights. To learn more about this program, please visit southwest.com/adoptapilot.
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Help Heal Veterans provides free therapeutic craft kits to military service members and veterans receiving medical care throughout the country. The craft kits support the healing process by providing physical benefits like restoring coordination and motor skills, improving concentration, and enhancing rehabilitation. Veterans also experience psychological benefits, such as relieving symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, when working with craft kits.
Southwest and Arise Veteran Foundation, a Repurpose with Purpose Partner, are proud to supply leather from repurposed aircraft seat covers to Help Heal Veterans for the kits. Through this creative outlet, more than 80,000 lbs. of leather from Southwest seat covers have been given a new life and a new purpose. Help Heal Veterans offers 11 different leather kit options, including kits to make wallets, belts, footballs, bracelets, and more. Craft kits are produced by veterans and military family members in Winchester, California, and are available to veterans at no cost.
Help Heal Veterans works closely with veterans and clinicians to provide the right kits to meet veterans’ needs. Often, kits become part of rehabilitation treatment plans. For 47 years, Help Heal Veterans has provided 31 million therapeutic arts and crafts kits to more than 18 million service men and women. Partnerships with medical centers, military hospitals, senior living facilities, and veteran’s transitional programs allows the organization to reach over 200,000 veterans each year.
We are excited to continue working with Arise and Help Heal Veterans to bring therapeutic craft kits to more veterans in need of healing. Our Heart is to take care of people because we are more than an airline—we are your neighbor.
To learn more about Help Heal Veterans visit healvets.org.
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Keep up the good work Lori and Jennifer! I Luved reading this! I’m also learning to rethink plastic. At the encouragement of my daughter, I’ve started carrying glass containers in my car, just in case I want to take home restaurant leftovers. It feels awkward, but it’s one less styrofoam container being used.
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Hi, @JoanneLS15, my name is Tiffany and I work in the Outreach Department. I moderate our Community Outreach discussion board. Do you mind sending me a PM with more information on your 501(c)3 organization?
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Just one of the many amazing stories that shows why SWA is the LUV airline and they are all HEART. They aren't perfect but they do so much that goes on that so many don't see it can be nice to read about especially in a time where most of the news/media is dominated by negative stories, sadness and heartbreak. Thank You SWA.
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The following blog post was written by GenHERation founder and CEO Katlyn Grasso
In February 2018, Southwest Airlines partnered with GenHERation to offer two young women from the GenHERation network the chance to attend the 2018 Southwest Airlines Rally in Las Vegas.
GenHERation is a network that brings young women and companies together for networking opportunities, so this was a great opportunity and event for GenHERation members to attend! After receiving more than 150 applications from GenHERation Members to attend the Rally, Melissa Hutchins, a senior at State University New York Oneonta, and Heidi Dart, a senior at Southwestern Adventist University, traveled across the country to learn what it means to Live and Work the Southwest Way.
“I remember that day so clearly, I was over the moon ecstatic to be one of the GenHERation members to attend the Southwest Rally in Las Vegas,” Melissa said. During the Rally, Melissa and Heidi heard from Southwest Airlines Senior Leaders on the main stage, connected with Southwest Employees to learn about their career journey, visited with different Teams during the Expo, and experienced the Southwest Culture firsthand. The Southwest Airlines Rally blends the experience of learning about upcoming Company initiatives while connecting with the Southwest Airlines Family throughout the fun-filled celebration. The Rallies started as a town hall type event that has since transformed into summit-like experience complete with a post event celebration. There are four Rallies each year in various locations across the Southwest network, and thousands of Employees participate, which requires every detail to be meticulously planned and analyzed for continuous improvement.
The day of the Rally in Las Vegas began with an interview with Culture Celebration Manager Leslie Shults and Culture Celebration Specialist and Rally Event Producer Natalie O’Donnell who plan and execute the Rally platform. Melissa and Heidi learned how the Southwest Rally Season has become an annual celebration where Employees can connect with each other and learn from Senior Leadership. When reflecting on her time at the Rally, Melissa shared, “There is a constant strive for improvement [at Southwest] and such a presence of relentlessness for success in all areas.”
During the Expo, Melissa and Heidi ventured through the Las Vegas Convention Center to meet members of different Southwest Teams, including Volunteerism Advisor Andrea Cavanagh, People Specialist Kelby Tansey, Captain Nancy Marin Belitz, and Communications & Outreach Specialist Carolyn McMenemon. No spectator could deny the excitement by both women as they smiled, clapped, and cheered alongside the Southwest Teams throughout the entire day.
“The Employees call themselves a Family and after talking with multiple Employees, I can see how much Southwest Airlines values its People,” Heidi said Heidi felt that Customer Support & Services Team Leader Paula Powell Darensbourg said it best when she shared, “We work hard, but we have fun.”
The opportunity to participate in the Rally was fun, educational, and inspiring. Energy was high, music was loud, and pride was strong. The passion, the People, and emphasis of upholding Company Values was evident in every corner of the venue.
“Coming into the Rally, I knew that Southwest Airlines cared for its Customers and truly treated them as Family, but after hearing Company executives address the audience, including CEO and Chairman of the Board Gary Kelly, President Tom Nealon, and Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven. I gained a whole new perspective of what the Company is all about” said Melissa.
As college seniors, Melissa and Heidi are preparing to embark on their careers and have intention of pursuing opportunities at Southwest. These two young ladies are Customers for life and will forever have a place in their hearts for the love they experienced at the Southwest Airlines Rally in Las Vegas.
Check out Melissa’s and Heidi’s GenHERation blog posts to learn more about their Rally experience.
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Southwest is honored to fly 50 families to Orlando for a magical 5-day all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World for the 2017 Kidd’s Kids trip. This is the 11 th year for Southwest to partner with Kidd’s Kids. The below is a guest blog post from Traci Liberto, the mother of two Kidd’s Kids participants.
I joined the Southwest Airlines Family in 1998 as an Employee in the finance department in Dallas and later transitioned to a job in Provisioning. I loved my job, made incredible friendships, and felt truly blessed by the Company. However, after nine years I left Southwest to pursue a new job that gave me the title of “stay at home mom.”
My oldest daughter, Melissa, was born with Cystic Fibrosis in 2007. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. My husband and I now have two daughters, and our youngest daughter, Makayla, was also born with Cystic Fibrosis. Melissa and Makayla never get a break from CF. Their mornings start early with hour-long breathing treatments, where they inhale medicines that help open airways or thin mucus. These medicines include antibiotics to fight lung infections and therapies to help keep the airways clear. Melissa and Makayla do at least three different inhaled medicines in the mornings along with airway cleaners. Their treatments start all over again in the evenings, but if they are sick they will do additional treatments throughout the day. With every meal and snack, Melissa and Makayla also have to take a handful of medications for CF.
My daughters are both active girls! They attend public school, love playing outside, and enjoy singing and dancing. While my daughters don’t let having CF stop them from doing the things they love, there are days where the girls get really sick and have to miss out on a lot of fun things.
I share this story with you to help you understand just how thrilled my family is to be a part of the 2017 Kidd’s Kids trip! When I learned that my family would be traveling to Walt Disney World because of Kidd’s Kids and Southwest Airlines, I was beyond excited and started crying tears of happiness. My family has been looking forward to the time we will spend together and the memories that we will make since we were told that we were selected for the trip. My girls look forward to meeting all the Disney characters, visiting the Haunted Mansion and getting princess makeovers at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
I can’t wait for them to have the chance to experience all of those things and more, and I can’t thank Southwest Airlines enough for all that you do for families like mine through your work with Kidd’s Kids.
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Southwest Airlines partnered with GenHERation, a network where young women and companies connect, for Discovery Days 2017. A group of 50 young women from GenHERation, ages 14-22, visited Southwest headquarters in Dallas for an immersive Discovery Days event to learn about Southwest and hear career advice from Southwest Leaders.
In addition to the young women from GenHERation who participated in Discovery Days, we had another very special guest: Lilly Santiago. Earlier this year, Southwest shared Lilly’s story. You may recall that Lilly’s father, Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Will Santiago, reached out to his Cohearts on Facebook with a request to show Lilly that there are women working on the ramp at Southwest. Will’s post received an overwhelming response with dozens of Southwest women responding to Lilly’s question and encouraging her to follow her dreams. Shortly after, Lilly spent a day in the field at our Baltimore station to see and experience all the jobs women accomplish in our operation.
We invited Lilly to join in on the Discovery Days fun to show her even more of the work women are doing at Southwest Airlines. Lilly joined the girls from GenHERation for a scavenger hunt to learn about Southwest history and meet our Campus Reach Internship team. The group also heard career advice and lessons learned from Elizabeth Bryant, Vice President Southwest Airlines University; Leah Koontz, Vice President Controller; Linda Rutherford, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer; and Ellen Torbert, Vice President Diversity and Inclusion. Lilly joined a team of GenHERation girls to design a marketing campaign to encourage students to fly with Southwest.
The morning with GenHERation was packed full of fun events, but the day didn’t end there. Lilly and her family continued to meet incredible women at Southwest by visiting the Network Operations Center and meeting Dispatch Trainer Carla Caisee. With Carla’s help, Lilly was even able to help send Pilots messages during their flights. To show Lilly what it was like to work in Technical Operations, Katelyn Dittman, Technical Operations Staff Engineer, walked Lilly around the Dallas Hangar. Lilly also spent some time learning all about how Southwest Airlines Employees are trained to do their jobs.
At the end of her fun-filled day, Lilly shared that “women can do all the jobs and nothing can stop them." Lilly, we couldn’t agree more!
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Since 1997, the award-winning Adopt-A-Pilot program has paired fifth grade classes with Southwest Airlines Pilots across the nation to help students discover their dreams.
Each Spring, Pilots volunteer their time visiting classrooms and mentoring students, while students track their "adopted" Pilot's journey during the time that he or she is "on the road." Not only does the program educate students on popular topics such as “how does an airplane fly?”, our Leaders also emphasize the importance of education and personal goal setting.
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Every year, in coordination with Project for Public Spaces, Southwest Airlines accepts grant applications from nonprofit organizations seeking to bring new life to underperforming public spaces within the heart of their communities. The 2017 Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant application has closed. Check the Heart of the Community page soon for more information surrounding the timing of our 2018 grant application and cycle.
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Yes. If awarded a ticket donation after applying on southwest.com/donations, the Southwest logo and guidelines will be emailed with your ticket award. The logo may only be used to represent sponsorship of an event and does not imply continued sponsorship of the organization.
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“Adopted” Southwest Airlines Pilots visit classrooms and support teachers in reinforcing the importance of school and how the power of hard work and commitment are essential to achieving dreams. Pilots lead activities in the Adopt-A-Pilot curriculum by making lessons in Science, Geography, and Math come alive, demonstrating to students how these subjects can be applied in “real life.” “Adopted" Pilots visit their assigned classroom once per week (on average) during the four-week long Adopt-A-Pilot program.
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At Southwest Airlines, we believe in empowering the next generation to achieve their career goals. One of the ways we do that is by passing along the lessons we’ve learned along the way. We are proud to partner with GenHERation, and next week we’ll welcome a group of talented young women to our Headquarters for Discovery Days. These young women will learn what some of our women Leaders throughout their careers.
Captain Nicole Alicea shares how studying hard in science and math can give you a view you can’t find in any other career!
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For many of us, the fall season is the time to gather with other football fanatics, play some corn hole, stuff our faces with stadium hot dogs and nachos, and cheer on our teams on while they play some good ole’ fashioned college football. But we all know what the fall season is truly about—watching the opposing football team get crushed on game day. Here at Southwest, we thought we would get the ball—er, plane—rolling with the 15th annual Southwest Airlines Pigskin Plane Pull to celebrate the Red River Showdown!
Earlier today, 14 Southwest Employees displayed their passion for the University of Texas and Oklahoma University, by representing either the Texas Longhorns or Oklahoma Sooners, in a true test of strength—pulling an 83,000-pound Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft in a timed competition, down a 50-yard stretch of tarmac. Each Team came ready to win, and the mascots and cheer squads from UT and OU were on the sidelines to rally their team to the finish line as quickly as possible.
The Team who pulled the plane the fastest across the finish line won tickets to the Red River Showdown football game and, of course, bragging rights for the year! This year the Southwest Teams were joined by several special guests including former OU football player Travis Wilson, the hosts from sports radio 1310 The Ticket, and alumni from the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Exes and the OU Club of Dallas. While the OU and UT teams both pulled with all their might, there could be only one winner.
Congratulations to the UT Team, this year’s Pigskin Plane Pull victors, with a finishing time of 31.9 seconds. You all earned your tailgating rights!
Best of luck to both teams and their fans this weekend at the game!
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