Did you know that Hispanic enrollment in higher education is expected to exceed 4.18 million students by 2026, surpassing the growth rate of any other racial-ethnic group by over 10 percent? Experts on Hispanic college students believe educational attainment levels would continue to improve if students had the economic resources to travel to and from colleges suited to meet their needs. Because travel back home is often a financial barrier to achieving educational goals for Latino students, Southwest Airlines and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) are proudly supporting Hispanic college student success while keeping the students connected to family through our signature "Lanzate! / Take Off!" education travel award program.
Through this national education initiative, Southwest awards roundtrip travel to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students across the country who travel away from home to pursue higher education. We’re proud to help college students stay connected to their families while achieving their academic goals. Since 2004, Southwest has helped more than 1,500 students soar by awarding roundtrip tickets through this travel grant program and we’re excited to support 185 students for the 2022-2023 school year!
HACU, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain, and school districts throughout the U.S. It is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). As longtime supporters of the Hispanic community, we know the impact family ties can have on the success of a student’s educational journey and beyond. Without the opportunity of the "Lanzate! / Take Off!" education travel award program, many may find it difficult to complete their college education.
“Many students have shared with us their personal stories and the economic barriers they face trying to visit their loved ones back home while in college,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “We are truly proud of the impact the Southwest Airlines travel awards program has had on Hispanic students across the nation. HACU congratulates the recipients and wishes them success.”
The "Lanzate! / Take Off!" program demonstrates Southwest’s commitment to champion educational attainment for all because we believe educated communities are empowered communities. us to connect college students to their families during the school-year!
Whether in the air or on the ground, Southwest believes community is more than a place—it’s at the Heart of what brings us together.
For more information on HACU and the "Lanzate! / Take Off!" education travel award program, visit https://www.hacu.net/hacu/Lanzate.asp
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For more than 50 years, Southwest Airlines Employees have proudly put their Hearts in Action in everything they do. From caring for our Customers to going the extra mile for a Coheart, our Employees are known for sharing the LUV within their communities. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Southwest and we have a number of festive opportunities in store to celebrate with our Employees and Customers—but I’m most excited to launch our one million Acts of Kindness Challenge!
To help celebrate our 50th year and to inspire a kinder, more compassionate world, we’re challenging our Employees AND Customers to complete a combined one million Acts of Kindness between now and December 2021. We know our Employees are up to the challenge, but we also want YOU, our loyal Customers, to join us in our campaign for kindness!
Throughout the year we will share different ways you can get involved but here a few Acts of Kindness ideas to get you started!
Sign our Acts of Kindness pledge today by visiting southwest50.com/actsofkindness—this automatically logs an Act in our Acts of Kindness tracker! Be sure to share it with your friends and family too!
Share on social media how you’re bringing kindness into the world or how someone’s kindness has impacted your life using the hashtag #HeartinAction
Check out the amazing stories submitted through our partnership with Wattpad through our Southwest: Storytellers On The Rise writing contest
Whether delivering a meal to a neighbor, cleaning up a park, sending a note of encouragement, or offering a pat on the back, we believe community is more than a place, it’s at the heart of what brings us together. How will you share kindness today?
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Reality TV has been all the rage for quite some time now, but truth be told, I never was a fan. That was until Dancing With The Stars began airing. Every Monday and Tuesday night, my 4-year old daughter and I watch closely as the “stars” transform themselves into ballroom dancers each week as they get closer to claiming the coveted disco ball trophy. We love to gaze at their beautiful costumes, tap our feet to the live music, and of course at the end of the show, cast votes for our favorite dancers. So, when the opportunity came up to participate in the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) 40th Anniversary Gala as a Community “star” I couldn’t pass it up. You see, Southwest Airlines is the official airline of CPRD and supports its many education programs serving diversity and at risk youth. They themed their gala “Dancing with the Denver Stars” and invited 12 corporate and community partners to participate in an evening of celebration and dance. In true Southwest Spirit, I was thrilled to roll up my sleeves (or shall I say put on my dancing shoes) and represent Southwest Airlines at this star-studded event. I committed each Saturday leading up to the big night to learn choreography, get into shape, practice my moves, and prepare for my performance debut. So, let’s just be clear, I’m not a professional dancer. In fact, aside from experience on my high school cheer squad (where the majority of our routines were simple eight counts) my dance training was non-existent. However, I figured what I lacked in skill I could make up in showmanship...yeah, right... I learned it takes a lot more than that! As a matter of fact, when I went to my first dress rehearsal, I was simply amazed at all the dancers and how much they had progressed with their routines. On the big night, I was so excited to step into my dancing shoes. For a brief 90 seconds of lights, camera, and dance, I transformed into a ballroom dancer with “performance” make-up, costuming, and all the courage I could muster up in front of an audience of over 600 people. I ended the performance to much applause and hundreds of gold stars waving in the audience. Fortunately, the event was an exhibition, not a competition, and at the end of the night, we were all dancing to celebrate 40 years of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. Five, six, seven, eight…it is Cleo Parker Robinson Dance we celebrate! What a fun and creative way to experience dance and raise awareness for CPRD education programs. Many thanks to Cecelia Jones, my choreographer, who had the energy and patience to train me. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, YOU are our Denver Star!
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This is the fifth of a series of future posts about our new 2009 Southwest One Report ™—a single report on our triple bottomline of Performance, People, and Planet adhering to Global Reporting Initiative standards. Question: What do the following have in common? -Congressional Art Competition -GLAAD Media Awards -Latino Leaders Network -Jenesse Center -Tuskegee Airmen Answer: Southwest Airlines proudly supports these organizations, events, and countless other activities in the cities we serve as we work hand in hand with community partners across the country. Southwest Airlines proudly partners with those who are helping shape our communities all across America. Each city is unique with a robust blend of neighborhood qualities that make it a fun, diverse, and distinct American city. As an airline, we have the opportunity to become part of the fabric of the communities we serve by supporting the organizations, events, and issues that are important to that city. Southwest Airlines recently introduced our 2009 Southwest One Report™—a “year in review” report that focuses on our triple bottomline of Performance, People, and Planet. The One Report is just that—a single document that combines a report on our financial performance along with our corporate responsibility and environmental efforts. Southwest Airlines has always believed that giving back to the community is part of our responsibility, and it is our People who keep our Servant’s Heart beating strongly. One group dedicated to building relationships in our communities is the Community Affairs & Grassroots Team. The Team cultivates community/non-profit, business, and grassroots relationships at a national, state, and local level and positions Southwest Airlines as a citizen of the community and Hometown Carrier. Focusing on community passion points such as education, Leadership, culture & arts, business, and advocacy, Southwest Airlines strives to win the hearts and minds of the people we serve. In addition, our Team and hundreds of Employees from cities across the country lend their time and talent by serving our communities as mentors, Ambassadors, advocates, and community leaders. For example, each year we host our Key Contact training, Days on the Hill, which will take place next week in Washington D.C. This allows our Team to train Employees from all over our system to be effective grassroots advocates for Southwest Airlines. In short, we teach our People to build strong relationships with their local Congressional Members in order to effectively position Southwest Airlines when future legislative efforts are needed. In the past, these efforts have been a tremendous help to Southwest Airlines. When making strides to repeal the Wright Amendment, we were able to rely on our Key Contacts and their existing relationships resulting in a great success for our Company. “Doing the right thing” is a natural and organic expression of who we are. Meeting our obligations as good corporate citizens and doing well for the business are both important—each driving our reputation and business results. Each good deed, when coupled with another can truly make a difference in our daily lives. Southwest Airlines is committed to our communities and will continue to invest in them with our People and our HEART!
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