JetBlue announced the next granting cycle from the JetBlue Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity entity focused on increasing diversity within the aviation industry’s talent pipeline. Educational programs with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and aviation may apply here through November 1, 2021 for grants up to $50,000 each, based on criteria, need and project scope. (a)
“Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic is a renewed global spotlight on the importance of science and technology,” said Ursula Hurley, president of the JetBlue Foundation. “Despite the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, the JetBlue Foundation has continued to offer non-stop support to future aviators, including virtual programming, mentorship and resources. This support has directly helped several budding STEM educational programs keep their doors open. We’re focused on empowering students, providing access, and helping to remove barriers to entry into careers in aviation. This, in turn, creates opportunities for a more diverse future for our industry.”
The JetBlue Foundation is the first airline foundation focused solely on supporting aviation and STEM education, and seeks out programs that offer programming geared toward communities traditionally underrepresented in these areas, including women and girls, racial/ethnic minority groups and veterans.
The JetBlue Foundation is independent from JetBlue and has a separate 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. The Foundation is company-sponsored, with supplemental support coming from select JetBlue business partners, and tax-deductible donations directly from JetBlue crewmembers who are interested in nurturing students’ STEM interests and inspiring the next generation of aviation professionals.
Applications will be accepted from qualified educational organizations to sponsor STEM and/or certification programs in one or more of the following areas of study:
- Aviation technology
- Aviation engineering
- Aviation operations
- Aviation maintenance
- Sustainable and environmental programs in aviation
These programs must serve one or more communities that are underrepresented in aviation, including:
- Women and girls
- Underrepresented groups including but not limited to Black, Hispanic/Latinx, or Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities
Supporting STEM Education Throughout the Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic affected funding for non-profits and educational programs, last year, the JetBlue Foundation issued a round of emergency grants to 12 aviation and STEM partners in need of financial support to help them continue their critical work. In 2020, the JetBlue Foundation provided funding to organizations including America on Tech (AOT) and the Lower East Side Girls Club.
“America On Tech is a proud partner of the JetBlue Foundation. For the past two years, the JetBlue foundation has been a critical partner in AOT’s work,” Jessica Santana, chief executive officer, America on Tech. “Outside of providing financial resources that help support the students in our programs learning in-demand technology skills, they have also played a pivotal role in helping us deploy laptops to our young people who did not have the appropriate machines to learn in the virtual environment. AOT is grateful for this partnership and looks forward to continuing working with the JetBlue Foundation in the future.”
“We are so grateful for the continued generous support of the JetBlue Foundation,” Jenny Dembrow and Ebonie Simpson, co-executive directors, Lower Eastside Girls Club. “They have been a longstanding STEM funder and now a partner in our broader COVID response efforts to address food insecurity. We are grateful for their ongoing partnership and dedication to our community.”
With support from JetBlue, the Foundation also helped education partners with the switch to online learning. Beyond just grants, JetBlue crewmembers volunteered in virtual classrooms and programming, and the airline donated refurbished laptops to ensure students passionate about STEM could continue their education from home. In additional to grants, the JetBlue Foundation also provided mentorship and in-kind support to grantees.
About the JetBlue Foundation
Since 2013, the JetBlue Foundation has built lasting relationships with nearly 100 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), aviation-focused programs, provided grants, and in-kind support to help these programs take off. The JetBlue Foundation furthers JetBlue’s work to place aviation top of mind as a future career choice for students. The JetBlue Foundation provides financial, in-kind and mentorship support to education and pipeline initiatives focused on STEM to ensure that even more women and traditionally underrepresented groups are present in the hangars, boardrooms, airports and airline corporate offices of the future. To learn more visit jetbluefoundation.org.