JetBlue announced the newest round of grants from the JetBlue Foundation, supporting nine charitable organizations to continue critical youth recruitment programs and educational skills training needed to equip and inspire the next generation of aviators.
The JetBlue Foundation is the first airline foundation focused solely on supporting aviation and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. For nearly a decade, the JetBlue Foundation has provided grants to charitable organizations to support and advance their education and mentorship programs. Beyond grants, the JetBlue Foundation provides programs, mentors, internships, and support to help pave the way for more accessibility and inclusivity within the aviation industry.
“At JetBlue, inspiration is more than an idea—it’s our mission. Through working with colleges, technical schools, and other community outreach and education programs, the JetBlue Foundation has been able to foster and grow the love and passion for aviation in youth across our network and beyond,” said Ursula Hurley, president of the JetBlue Foundation. “As we near our 10-year anniversary this December, we are proud of how far we have come, but realize that our work is far from over when it comes to continuing to break down barriers of entry into careers in aviation. We are proud to continue our industry-leading grant work and look forward to welcoming another group of equity-focused grantees to our program.”
The JetBlue Foundation continues to expand its relationships and support in the United States and is proud to announce Spelman College, the Foundation’s first Historically Black College and University (HBCU), as a 2022 JetBlue Foundation grantee. This year the Foundation is excited to not only welcome new grantees but to continue to support several previous organizations, including Aviation High School.
The Spring 2022 JetBlue Foundation Grantees include:
- Aviation High School (New York, New York) provides rigorous instruction and equitable access to Federal Aviation Administration curricula, Advance Placement, College Now, and high-level science and math courses. The JetBlue Foundation grant will allow Aviation High School to continue to innovate aviation maintenance technical programs through on-site work with 3D printers and other STEM-related resources that will advance students’ skill sets for the 21st-century workforce.
- Fundación Estrellitas Del Mar (Guayaquil, Ecuador) seeks to provide supplemental education to high-achieving youth living in extreme poverty through scholarships, tutoring, and STEM education programs and activities. With over 100 scholars enrolled in the organization’s tutoring program, the JetBlue Foundation grant will provide the necessary funding to employ more instructors and improve the math and science programs through expanding and upgrading technology, such as laptops, tablets, and increased internet availability.
- Hiller Aviation Institute (San Carlos, California) showcases the Hiller Aviation Museum’s technology-driven exhibits, serves as an engine for creating innovative curricula, and provides stakeholders in industry and academia an opportunity to participate in presenting hands-on science and engineering. For its ninth consecutive year, the Hiller Aviation Museum will hold its Aero Design Challenge, which provides middle school students an opportunity to work hands-on with authentic tools to complete a series of experiences focused on a particular aviation topic. The JetBlue Foundation grant will support the 2022 Aero Design Challenge, which has served over 4,500 children since its inception and will aid in recruitment resources to meet the 750-student participation goal for this year’s challenge.
- Lee Archer, Jr. Red Tail Youth Flying Program (RFA) (Newburgh, New York) is designed to recruit, expose, develop and place a competitive and diverse talent pipeline of underrepresented aviators into careers in aviation, aeronautics, and other STEM-related industries. The JetBlue Foundation grant will allow RFA to continue ‘Diversifying the Skies’ and bring much-needed parity to aviation through expanded cohort recruitment, as well as creating an aviation ecosystem that delivers its promise of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the aerospace industry.
- Mariposa DR Foundation (Cabarete, Dominican Republic) encourages and ignites curiosity in young girls by fostering connections between scientific exploration and everyday life through its Citizen Science program. Funding from the JetBlue Foundation will support further curriculum development, technology, and physical resource updates, as well as initiate a new weather journaling series to help young girls become more aware and in tune with their environment, empowering them to become powerful advocates for themselves and the planet.
- Sally Ride Elementary School (Orlando, Florida) is the only elementary school in Orange County, and one of the very few schools in the country, to provide an Aviation and Aerospace Magnet Program. By learning from both experts in the field and educators in the classroom, Sally Ride Elementary School will utilize the JetBlue Foundation grant to update technology resources and flight simulator software to continue to introduce generations of students to careers in aviation.
- Spelman College (Atlanta, Georgia) is the first HBCU to receive a JetBlue Foundation grant and one of several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) the JetBlue Foundation supports. The JetBlue Foundation is proud to support Spelman College’s Department of Mathematics and its affiliate, the EDGE Foundation, through educational travel for conferences, professional development opportunities, and career advancement programs throughout the academic year.
- Universidad Ana G. Méndez (UAGM) (San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a private, non-profit higher education institution founded more than seven decades ago in San Juan that provides quality education and promotes research through a vision of innovation and entrepreneurship. UAGM is an FAA-certified pilot training school that offers degrees in aviation and is the first Air Agency in Puerto Rico to acquire Garmin G1000 RTD (Reconfigurable Training Device) FAA-certified flight simulator.
- YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California) has plans to enhance its existing afterschool programming to serve 350 students through a new STEM education module focused on aviation training and topics. Reaching TK-8th grade students, the Westchester YMCA branch provides a foundation for learning at a young age and builds college and career readiness in STEM and aviation fields. With support from the JetBlue Foundation, the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles will be able to continue its critical work championing awareness and sparking interest in aviation.
The JetBlue Foundation is separate from JetBlue, with its own board of directors and an advisory committee, both comprised of JetBlue crewmembers from across the airline. Grants are provided directly from the JetBlue Foundation. Although the JetBlue Foundation is separate from JetBlue, both are aligned in efforts to help diversify the STEM fields that fuel the airline.