NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) today announced the latest round of grants provided by the JetBlue Foundation, an education-focused entity which furthers the airline’s effort to place aviation top-of-mind as a career choice for students. The JetBlue Foundation will help fuel six aviation programs with $162,000 in grants for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based initiatives.
The JetBlue Foundation seeks out programs focusing on communities traditionally under-represented in STEM fields including women, minority groups and veterans. Beyond just grants, the JetBlue Foundation provides in-kind support, mentoring, internships and more to make a difference for the next generation of aviators, dispatchers, aircraft mechanics and pilots. Over the past four years, the Foundation has built lasting relationships with more than 26 aviation-focused programs and provided $512,000 in grants to help these programs take off.
“According to the FAA, less than seven percent of commercial pilots and three percent of aircraft mechanics are women. For people of color, these statistics are just as low,” said Joanna Geraghty, president of The JetBlue Foundation. “We must fuel the talent pipeline now with diversity and focused educational training to ensure the future of our industry. Our goal is to provide access early on to prepare students for jobs after high school or for college.”
On March 31, the JetBlue Foundation hosted its fourth annual grant presentation with a special event at the New York Hall of Science, a hands-on, energetic educational museum where students can indulge their curiosity and creativity. The museum explores how technology and play affect learning. In addition to a tour of the museum, aspiring aviators, administrators and students were treated to a special behind-the-scenes tour of JetBlue’s home terminal – T5 at New York’s JFK Airport – where they were able to see the inner works of an airline. The event also included opportunities for the students to learn more about the various career opportunities available at JetBlue.
This year’s JetBlue Foundation grant recipients include:
- Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology (Flushing, NY) – Vaughn College will use this grant to purchase a flight simulator and develop programming. Their goal is to expose 600 New York City area high schoolers and Vaughn College students to flight learning and related careers. The funds will also further enhance the college’s flight operations training curriculum.
- Hiller Aviation Museum (San Carlos, CA) – The museum will utilize these funds to develop the “Real Time Weather and Air Traffic Control Exhibit,” a new interactive exhibit in its Working World of Aviation gallery. The program will provide STEM learning outside of the formal classroom and for San Francisco area students from low-income backgrounds. The initiative will focus on students in grades 4-8.
- Above The Clouds (Norwood, MA) – Above the Clouds creates a spark for aviation among at-risk teens. This grant will help fund the Cadet Flyers, Discovery Flyers and Dream Flyers programs and maintenance for a Piper Warrior II aircraft, allowing students ages 6-18 to take flight lessons with Certified Flight Instructors.
The JetBlue Foundation is continuing JetBlue’s mission of inspiring humanity and will also provide support and special consultation to three developing programs to help them expand on new aviation-focused initiatives.
- Worcester County Horticultural Society (Worcester, MA) – The Worcester Tree Initiative will use this funding to develop an environmental education program focused on inner city youth. This program will consists of two hands-on training components: field-based learning and computer lab learning that uses a software application to incorporate the results of light detection and range sensing to understand the urban forest canopy.
- New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) (Corona, NY) – NYSCI will use their grant to support the Science Career Ladder initiative – a nationally recognized program for engaging under-represented groups in STEM. The Science Career Ladder recruits high school and college students as “Explainers” to interact with NYSCI’s visitors, fostering conversations about science exhibits and activities.
- Trident Technical College Foundation (North Charleston, SC) – Trident will use these funds towards the purchase of a Flight Deck Simulation Trainer. The simulator will provide students with real-world, hands-on experience working on a large airplane, preparing them for aeronautical industry-standard work.
JetBlue supports STEM education through a variety of initiatives. The airline hosts a unique education pathway from relationships with elementary school students and mentoring high school and college students to its University Gateway Program, which leads to positions as Pilot Trainees with JetBlue.
The JetBlue Foundation, founded in 2013, is legally independent from JetBlue and has a separate Board of Directors and an Advisory Committee both made up of JetBlue crewmembers from across the airline. To learn more about the JetBlue Foundation, visit www.jetblue.com/InspiringHumanity.
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 35 million customers a year to 101 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 1,000 daily flights. For more information please visit jetblue.com.