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Southwest Airlines Community

Flying to the Newsroom

Adventurer C

Southwest Airlines sponsored the student project workshop at the annual conference of the National Association of Black Journalists a few weeks ago.  We provided travel to 30 deserving students to actively participate in a real newsroom during the event, and to work alongside the best journalists in the country.  The students were so happy about the experience that they wrote a few thank you notes. 

Lance Dixon
Morehouse College
NABJ Member

Lance Dixon

Flying to New Orleans on Southwest was my first experience with the airline and I loved it. The flight attendants were courteous and the rides from Ft. Lauderdale to New Orleans and back were smooth and passed by quickly. I traveled to New Orleans for the National Association of Black Journalists convention and while there I participated in a student multimedia project. The project, and the convention as a whole, gave me lifelong memories, created valuable relationships and gave me treasured writing experience. None of that would have been possible without Southwest Airlines (and I wouldn’t have saved as much on checked bags either!) and I will certainly choose them for my next travel experience.

Monica Guerra
San Francisco State University
NABJ Member

Monica Guerra

I wanted to be a news producer and I would do anything to get experience in my field. Entering my senior year at San Francisco State University, I definitely craved more experience and connections with those in my field. Fortunately, I heard about the NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists) convention, where there would be about 2,000 members in the news, journalism and blogging field along with a student apprenticeship program where we would have hands on experience in producing news. Perfect! This was my chance!

I applied, and not only did I get in, but I also was able to have my registration into the convention and my stay covered. But how was I going to get there? I was young, broke, and filled with dreams. Between side jobs here and there, paying my living expenses, and saving to pay for the approximate $200 for textbooks for the next school semester, not much is left over.

I was ecstatic when I found out Southwest was covering my flight! Finally, nothing was standing in my way. I could get my foot into the door, and who knows what will come out of this journey?

Tony Evans
Clark Atlanta University
NABJ Member

Tony Evans

Having the opportunity to fly on Southwest Airlines in route to the National Association of Black Journalists convention in New Orleans, Louisiana was indeed a priceless experience.  This was the first time I had the luxury of flying with the airline and I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the company's service and hospitality.  Flying with Southwest Airlines was essential to me being able to meet journalism and media professionals at the convention in an effort to make life-long professional and personal contacts.  Since I live and work in Raleigh, North Carolina, the only convenient and hassle free way for me to have arrived to the convention on time would have been through flying on Southwest Airlines.  It really goes to show that the company cares deeply about supporting minorities and organizations that are busy working to impact change in the United States and around the world.  

I would also like to add that my favorite parts of the convention were having the chance to work on the Student Multimedia Projects.  Under the leadership of the best and brightest media professionals, I learned so much about news-gathering.  Denise James, Anthony Wilson, Janell Lewis and Darryl Huger gave me and several other Television mentees so much knowledge and insight that I am still trying to soak in from the week of training.  There were many challenges that I encountered daily, but with the leadership of the mentors, I'm sure to always remember to fight challenging stories head-on and to not ever back out of a difficult situation.  The convention also provided an opportunity for me to meet with News Directors, Executive Producers and other reporters so that I could learn of their thoughts about the current state of news industry.  After many conversations, I was told that news is becoming more cost-efficient and less people are working at stations because of the "one man band" concept of reporters shooting, editing and writing their own stories.  Media professionals say it's a cheap and cost-cutting way to survive in an industry where a number of people are getting their news from other sources besides television. 

Southwest Airlines is owed an unlimited amount of gratitude and appreciation I believe I would never be able to repay.  I had the opportunity to learn how to report in a fast-paced news environment with aspiring news reporters just like me.  I am truly thankful for the opportunity to fly Southwest Airlines to work with, and meet with such helpful, and wisdom-filled professionals. 

Kelcie McCrae
North Carolina A&T State University
NABJ Member


When I found out the Southwest Airlines was the airline carrier for the National Association of Black Journalists’ Student Multimedia Projects I was more than excited. As a frequent flier I can honestly say that I love flying this airline for numerous reasons. Not only do they have a friendly staff and comfortable seating, my bags fly free, who doesn't love that? As a self-proclaimed 'over packer' it was necessary that I checked my bags for this convention, mainly for my need to change my wardrobe. By flying Southwest I was able to bypass pesky bag fees! For that and a wonderful ride I want to say thank you Southwest for yet another enjoyable experience.

Justin Madden
Grambling State University
NABJ Member

This year's NABJ Convention was one the most successful. Hundreds of sponsors and members flooded the city of New Orleans to make NABJ 2012 an unbelievable experience. But, there was one sponsor who reigns supreme than others: Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines donated over 30 travel vouchers for me and my peers to be a part of the NABJ Student Multimedia Project. As a first time attendee to a NABJ convention and student project, it's great to know that others are invested into your education just as much as you are

Being a part of the Student Multimedia Project gave me real newsroom experience: deadline writing, researching, interviews and going after the main idea, the "meat and potatoes" of a story. It also enhanced my understanding of the AP stylebook. But, one must realize that this would not have been an exceptional experience without the help of Southwest Airlines, and for that I am forever grateful.

Derrick Q. Lewis
Temple University
NABJ Member


Thanks to Southwest Airlines I was able to attend the NABJ convention in New Orleans. As always, Southwest made sure my safety was their #1 priority. The staff effortlessly made accommodations for my flight from Philadelphia to New Orleans and provided great customer service on my flight back home. Thanks Southwest. 

Jeannette Reyes
Kent State University
NABJ Member

My name is Jeannette Reyes and I just graduated from Kent State University. I was excited and looking forward to attending the NABJ convention. It was a networking opportunity and learning experience that I did not want to miss. However, not only was I a recent graduate but I had just gotten a potential offer to Little Rock and needed to make sure that I had the funds for the move. I knew that I could not afford a round trip plane ticket to New Orleans. But it was difficult to turn down the opportunity because I had my hotel and registration paid for.

The convention was quickly approaching and I was trying to work something out. I was told a couple of weeks before going to New Orleans that my plane fare would be covered by Southwest Airlines. I was elated because that was the last thing I needed. The service was amazing. I changed my return flight a couple of times last minute and I was very impressed with the quality of the customer service provided by the agent I spoke to over the phone.

Southwest not only made my trip to NABJ possible but they made it a pleasant one.