JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) today announced the newest round of grants from the JetBlue Foundation, the first airline foundation focused solely on supporting aviation and STEM education. This year, the JetBlue Foundation is fueling 13 programs with nearly $250,000 in grants to benefit their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and aviation initiatives. This round of grants will support education programs focused on mentorship and technical education training, with the goal of adding more diversity within STEM and the aviation industry.
“The JetBlue Foundation is creating clearer career pathways for the next generation in aviation,” said Ursula Hurley, president of the JetBlue Foundation. “It was exciting to see mentorship and technical education as the main themes among this year’s grant applications. We’re making an investment in our children and in the future of our industry. Mentorship, access and options are important, whether it’s ensuring students have skills for well-paying jobs upon graduation from high school or the opportunity to further their education through college.”
The JetBlue Foundationencourages aviation-related education and helps ignite interest in STEM programs, especially among communities traditionally underrepresented in these areas. This STEM education-focused foundation furthers JetBlue’s efforts to introduce students to the vast array of careers available within aviation. Over the past six years, the JetBlue Foundation has built lasting relationships with more than 80 STEM and aviation-focused programs and provided over $1.5 million in grants and in-kind support to help these programs take off.
The 2019 grant recipients span JetBlue’s route map including the first international recipient, with grant winners coming from Atlanta; Barbados, West Indies; Boston; the New York-metro area; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Long Beach, Calif.; San Diego and Salt Lake City.
This year’s JetBlue Foundation grant recipients include:
- ACE Mentor Program of New York (Queens, NY) is a free afterschool program for high school students interested in architecture, engineering and construction. This grant will help support a mentoring program benefiting students in JetBlue’s home borough – Queens, NY.
- Latino Pilots Association (Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and New York City) is a volunteer organization comprised of professional pilots from different sectors of the aviation industry. Its nationwide network of pilot mentors give back to the Latino community in a variety of ways. JetBlue Foundation funding will support the Academy for Latinos in Aviation Science (ALAS) program.
- National CARES Mentoring Movement (Atlanta and New York City) works to transform the lives of underprivileged Black children by inspiring and mobilizing Black professionals to mentor and nourish them. The organization will use this grant to support their HBCU Rising: A Campus-Public Schools Literacy and STEM Mentoring Initiative.
- New York on Tech (New York City) prepares the next generation of tech leaders by creating pathways for students to thrive in technology and innovation. The organization will use their grant to fund the Tech Flex Leaders initiative, an immersive out-of-school time program for high school juniors and seniors offering mentorship with industry professionals and access to professional opportunities.
- YMCA of Northern Utah (Salt Lake City) provides support and opportunities that empower people and communities to learn, grow and thrive. This grant will benefit their Gender Equity Program which guides students through activities focused on decision-making, problem-solving and critical-thinking.
STEM and Technical Education Training Programs
- Caribbean Science Foundation (Barbados, West Indies) assists with diversifying the economies of the Caribbean Region by harnessing science and technology for economic development, helping to raise the standard of living. These funds will support their Computer Coding Workshop and other efforts providing skills and economic opportunity for girls and women in Barbados.
- CodeNation (formerly ScriptEd)(New York City) equips students in under-resourced high schools with the skills, experiences and connections, creating access to careers in technology. This JetBlue Foundation grant will help support their Code Nation NYC Coding Classes: Tech Education for Underserved Youth programming.
- Cristo Rey New York High School (East Harlem, NY) serves students of all faiths who have demonstrated the potential and motivation to achieve success and who do not have the educational background or financial means to attend another private, college-prep school. This grant will be used for inquiry-based instruction and science curriculum reform.
- Dutchess Community College(Upstate New York) is an enriching, challenging and supportive academic environment that allows students to discover, explore and pursue their STEM interests. The JetBlue Foundation funds will support the Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) Program for future aircraft technicians and mechanics.
- Elementary Institute of Science (San Diego) is a nonprofit organization committed to increasing lifelong opportunities for students of southeast San Diego through STEM education. This JetBlue Foundation grant will help the organization further develop its Girls Take Flight program.
- Northeast STEM Starter Academy at Mt. Vernon (New York-metro area) introduces the marvels of science to at-risk students. They will utilize their JetBlue Foundation grant for their Science of Success programming which helps high performing high school students secure their Pilot’s License.
- Speech and Language Development Center (SLDC) (Long Beach, Calif.) is a non-profit school and therapy center for children and adults with special needs. SLDC provides classroom education with fill collaborative therapy intervention. Aligning with JetBlue’s mission of inspiring humanity, this JetBlue Foundation grant will support the STREAM Lab: adapted STEM lab for children with special needs.
- Tools & Tiaras, Inc. (New York City) is committed to advancing the interest of young girls and women who want to pursue non-traditional careers. The JetBlue Foundation grant will help the organization expand its programming to motivate young girls and women dreaming of having careers in traditionally male-dominated industries.
JetBlue Foundation Signature Programs
This summer the JetBlue Foundation once again brought two of its signature programs to life with grants to longstanding partners – the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) and Project Scientist – to help encourage even more girls and women and people of color to pursue careers above and below the wing.
- The OBAP ACE Academy introduces aviation careers to students ages 14 – 18 from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the industry. During these programs, students participate in hands-on activities and have the opportunity to learn directly from JetBlue pilots and other aviation professionals. This summer, the JetBlue Foundation and OBAP hosted seven ACE Academy programs in Boston; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Los Angeles/Long Beach; New York, Orlando, Fla.; San Juan, Puerto, Rico and St. Thomas – U.S. Virgin Islands. In total more than 150 students participated in the JetBlue Foundation-funded OBAP ACE Academy programs. View a video on this initiative here.
- Project Scientist STEM Expedition Academy is a summer program for girls ages four to 12, in Southern California who have a strong interest and aptitude for STEM. The vision of Project Scientist is to transform the face of STEM by nurturing future scientists who will lead the world in solving tomorrow’s greatest challenges. The STEM Expedition Summer Academy includes behind-the-scenes looks at STEM-focused companies and college programs as well as a visit to JetBlue’s operation at Long Beach Airport.
JetBlue is currently accepting letters of inquiry for the Fall 2019 grants cycle. For grant criteria or to submit a proposal go to jetbluefoundation.org. Visit the site for more information, to see how previous recipients have utilized their grants, examples of JetBlue Foundation partnerships in flight and other STEM-related news.