April 4, 2014

Aviation Education Takes Flight with a little Sun n’ Fun

You may have already guessed, but a lot of our crewmembers have been passionate aviation enthusiasts all their lives. That passion is something we love to encourage in the next generation of our industry. We recently launched the JetBlue Foundation to encourage STEM and aviation education, and on April 2, we provided a special charter flight experience to 75 high school and college aviation students for a trip to the Sun-N-Fun Show and Expo in Lakeland, Florida.   Top students from several aviation schools with dream of becoming pilots, technicians, air traffic controllers, and future aviation leaders were invited  to this expo to further encourage their interests and reward their hard work as they pursue careers in aviation.  Students from 10 schools in New York and Florida participated in the event, including three of the schools that were recipients of the first round of grants from the JetBlue Foundation.


At Sun & Fun, event attendees were able to board JetBlue’s aircraft to tour the flight deck, talk to our crew, get to know more about JetBlue, and how to pursue a career in aviation. Waiting for attendees on board, were individuals from all levels of our Gateway Pilot training program, JetBlue crewmembers as well as our CEO Dave Barger and our Chief People Officer and JetBlue Foundation President, Joanna Geraghty.

As an added bonus for attendees, parked right in the pavilion was a plane built by students from Circle Christian SchoolThe plane is not just a source of pride for the students in the school’s Eagle’s Nest Orlando Project, but also 15 JetBlue pilots, JetBlue University instructors, and technicians who helped these students build the plane as part of a mentorship program.



JetBlue is on a mission to inspire humanity, and partnering with Sun-N-Fun, and their mission to preserve and enhance the future of flight through world-class events that inspire and educate people of all ages, is a perfect fit. We can’t wait to see what this energized next generation of aviation professionals will add to this industry we hold so dear.



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October 24, 2011

JetBlue At the Education Nation 2011 Summit

Our CEO Dave Barger recently participated in the Education Nation panel moderated by Tom Browkaw. Dave, along with other top business executives, civic leaders and educators addressed the current state of the 21st century workforce and the importance of educating America’s students to compete in a global economy. Dave who also Chairs the educational organization, PENCIL, spoke about the private sector’s involvement in education, its role in creating awareness, and partnering business leaders with schools to make a difference.

Watch the full discussion on MSNBC by clicking on the below video.

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July 5, 2010

Be True: Dr. Jay is true to wilderness medicine education

As you may know, we launched our Be True campaign last week, which tells the story of six outstanding TrueBlue members and what they hold to be true. Meet one of the six below, Dr. Jay.


Dr. Jay Lemery doesn’t have to wear a white coat to do the most good. From mountain rescues to hurricanes to earthquakes, he’s taught his students to always be leaders in the field of wilderness medicine. Where modern medicine has an infinite toolkit, wilderness medicine is the opposite. It relies on ingenuity of a doctor with very limited resources — sometimes nothing more than a Swiss Army knife.

Jay loves to hear from his former students, many who are making a difference all over the world. They use the knowledge he shared with them to help people in disaster situations or in undeveloped countries. His wilderness medicine education program has had a ripple effect across continents and cultures.

We admire people who do more with their passion, people who share their knowledge, people who are true. It’s this commitment to people that helped inspire TrueBlue, our redesigned rewards program.

Watch the video and learn more about Be True

Join the discussion on Facebook

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September 18, 2015

Going Once. Going Twice. – Bid for a Chance to Meet Boyz II Men


Now’s your chance to Bid For Good. Bid for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with Boyz II Men. One lucky winner will receive a chance to attend our next Live From T5 concert at JFK Airport in New York on September 24, 2015 and also donate funds to three charities focused on children and education.

Boyz II Men, the best-selling R&B group of all time, will be performing their greatest hits and chart-topping singles during a 45-minute set. This concert is exclusively for ticketed customers travelling through Terminal 5.

Through our online Bid For Good charitable auction, one winner and a guest will receive two VIP tickets and a chance to personally meet the legendary R&B trio. All proceeds generated from this Bid For Good auction will be donated to youth-focused, non-profit organizations: Together We Rise, DoSomething.org and the JetBlue Foundation. These organizations are invested in improving youth, education, and community – keystones of our corporate responsibility platform.


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September 9, 2015

Detroit Wins Soar with Reading Online Book Battle


We are pleased to announce Detroit as Soar with Reading’s first-ever online #BookBattle winner!  The online book battle down to the wire. With more than 1.3 million votes cast, Detroit with a furious late rally  won with 48% of the votes.  The competition was stiff between  five select cities – Detroit, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and New York –, where  Books will be donated in 2016.

Detroit will receive 100,000 new children books as Soar with Reading seeks to replenish this known book deserts. Book deserts are found in communities across America where children and their families have little or no access to purchase age-appropriate books. Results from a 2014 study we commissioned with educational expect Dr. Susan Neuman discovered that in low-income communities, the majority of children had limited, restricted access to purchase books for keep versus middle-income communities where access is plentiful. In addition, according to recent survey – 95 percent of American adults agree that children should have their own books at home and 85 percent of American adults agree that access to age-appropriate books in communities cannot be provided by schools alone.

The city of Hamtramck, a suburb of Detroit, currently has only one age-appropriate book available for every 42 children, compared to the University District where there is one book for every 11 children.

These 100,000 books that Detroit has now won will contribute immediately toward providing access to age-appropriate books for the children and families in low-income areas of Detroit who want to read and learn. And we cannot think of a better way to help inspire humanity.

“Congratulations to the city of Detroit!

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August 12, 2015

Change The World With A Little Help From JetBlue

If you were given the mission to change the world, what would you do? That’s what the remarkable students at Democracy Prep Charter High School in Harlem, New York are tasked with once they reach their senior year.

Here at JetBlue, one of our goals is to Inspire Humanity, and when we noticed that these students in our hometown were doing just that, we decided to help by giving a few students the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic to make their mission a reality.

The year-long student-driven research assignment gives each young adult the opportunity to tackle and important local or global issue. By the end of the project the students have written a 15-page paper, given a ten-minute presentation, and most importantly completed 100 hours of work experience in support of their issue.

Tyisha and Ashlynn are two of those students, and they shared their experiences with us:



In my desire to propel my learning outside of the classroom, I visited the Dominican Republic for one week during my school break sponsored by JetBlue. I was able to conduct interviews to analyze the impact of limited resources in public schools on opportunities for higher education. I then compared those findings to higher education opportunities from private schools in the Dominican Republic. During my research, I confirmed the notion that a lack of educational resources is present in some schools.

The rural public school classroom lacked projectors, had one broken computer, and was lined with rundown bookshelves. All of the teachers I interviewed confirmed their need for science laboratories and more academic books.

On the other hand, the private school I briefly visited had abundant resources such as projectors, iPads, SMART Boards, and printers available to students.

I presented these findings to organizations such as JetBlue and Plan International, increasing awareness and mobilizing 


influential organizations around this issue. I was able to conclude that my research must be continued and improved for better and long-lasting results.

It would be great to continue this project in my undergraduate years. So many more countries are in need of educational resources. It is vital that governments and organizations see research similar to my own and become convinced to increase funding for public education as education may be the only way for some children to escape poverty and reach their goals.


I first began thinking about my Change the World Project during the summer of my Junior year. At first, I had no idea what I wanted to, moreover, I didn’t know how I was going to get the funds to dream big. I had to start from scratch . After attending a United Nations conference featuring Malala Yousafzai and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, I was inspired to focus my project on raising awareness for women’s education in the Muslim World. All fears of rejection decimated as I thought about how Malala, just a teenage girl my age, fearlessly fought for education rights in Pakistan. If  she could do it, why couldn’t I?

ash and tyThe original focus of my project was centered on Muslim countries. However, I realized that Muslim countries are receiving a lot of awareness for women’s equality and education rights. It became apparent to me that the Latin Americas have some of the highest rates of domestic violence and human trafficking. I sympathized with the women having come from a long line of women who have experienced their fair share of challenges.

Growing up in Jamaica, the women in my family were bound within a patriarchal culture struck by poverty. My mom and her womanhood was viewed as inferior and her sole purpose of existence was to be the caretaker. My abusive grandfather pressured my mother, as the only female left in the house, to care for him and her younger brother. Her laborious household obligations forced her to drop out of school. 

 Although, I live in the United States where freedom and equality are generally accessible, I cannot help but notice the subtle prejudice that women still receive. 

As I continued to age, I realized that inequality for women was not just happening in Jamaica or the United States, it happens all over the world.  It was appalling to me to know that behind the facade of sandy white beaches and beautiful hotels, in the Dominican Republic, gender-based violence is the fourth leading cause of death among women. Additionally, it was even more shocking to know that the Dominican government was planning to ease punishments for laws against women. 

As my sister Caribbean country native, I cannot help but feel sympathy, frustration, and anguish for the women and girls suffering in the Dominican Republic. It distresses me to know that girls my age have to live in these kinds of conditions. It is even more distressing to know that their own government is inactive and even helping the problem. The women in the Dominican Republic have stopped voicing out their cries against violence. Even though I am not originally from the Dominican Republic, as fellow human beings, and more importantly as women, it is my duty to help those  who have lost the will to voice their calls of freedom.


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August 3, 2015

High School Aviation Students Soar With Help From the JetBlue Foundation and Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals

5yfUnPGzirdKNaLtA_ZigCzQhEcVRk6OvZFLu0qsAh4Aviation is not always a top career choice for students from underserved communities. The JetBlue Foundation and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) are trying to change that. According to current statistics, less than five percent of pilots in the commercial aviation industry are women and/or people of color.


For the second year in a row, the JetBlue Foundation has partnered with OBAP to host the Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy initiative in select JetBlue cities. This summer, through a grant from JetBlue Foundation, OBAP was able to extend this partnership beyond New York and Orlando to include new initiatives in Los Angeles/Long Beach, Jacksonville, Fla., the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico.  These week-long series provide high school students with a behind-the-scenes look at the aviation industry as students hear directly from the variety of different departments and people who keep an airline running. Students attending the ACE Academy have career aspirations to become pilot, dispatchers, technicians and air traffic controllers, to name a few.


“Growing up in Queens, I lived minutes away from JFK Airport, yet it was a world away. I remember telling people that I wanted to become a pilot when I grew up. Some folks in my neighborhood didn’t think this was feasible or even within the realm of possibility for me. After fulfilling my dream and becoming a captain, I decided to help mentor the next generation of pilots including those from communities like the one I grew up in to help their dreams become a reality,” said JetBlue Captain Jovan O’Bryant and Director of the OBAP New York ACE Academy.

As part of the ACE Academy, students get hands-on experience to encourage their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They receive experience flying, a tour an airport control tower and demonstrations from fire and rescue teams. This year, students in the New York program flew a Cirrus SR20/SR22, and split a three-legged cross-country flight between Connecticut’s Igor Sikorsky Memorial Airport (KBDR), Waterbury-Oxford Airport (KOXC) and back to Danbury Municipal Airport (KDXR).  Students from the Los Angeles/Long Beach program were able to shadow an Air Traffic Controller in action and learn about careers as pilots and dispatchers. While students in the Orlando program were able to simulate flying at JetBlue’s state-of-the-art training facility – JetBlue University.


First Officer Raghib Taquir and Director of the OBAP Los Angeles/Long Beach ACE Academy said, “Last year, OBAP received a grant from the JetBlue Foundation which allowed OBAP to offer this intensive summer program to even more students. After hearing about the OBAP and JetBlue Foundation programs in Orlando and New York, I volunteered to coordinate the first-ever ACE Academy in my hometown – Long Beach. While becoming a pilot or pursing other careers in aviation are the main focus of this program, our overall mission is to expose these students to opportunities and encourage them to continue and attend college.”

The ACE Academy initiative is in line with the mission of the JetBlue Foundation – to increase awareness of aviation-related careers among students of color and students from underserved areas. The ACE Academies in partnership with the JetBlue Foundation are managed by JetBlue pilots and other industry professionals who volunteer their time. The thoughtful curriculum is developed to encourage students to continue STEM studies.

2015-07-15 10.40.30

Admission is offered to high school students, ages 14 to 18 years old that have an interest in learning about aviation. Applicants are competitively ranked based on cumulative GPA and an essay. To apply for an ACE Academy visit http://www.obap.org/project-aerospace/aviation-career-education-ace-academy/.

For more information on the JetBlue Foundation visit https://www.jetblue.com/corporate-social-responsibility/.

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January 5, 2015

MediaPlanet Roundtable – Learning Outside the Classroom: A Roundtable Discussion

We are proud to have our very own Director of Corporate Social Responsibility featured along with National Geographic’s VP Content- Education and Children’s Media, Jennifer Emmet  and Nook’s Chief Bookseller James Mustich  in a MediaPlanet Roundtable discussion on the changing face of literacy in the U.S. Presented here is her portion  of the conversation with MediaPlanet.

Mediaplanet: How can we utilize advances in technology to promote literacy?

Icema D. Gibbs: Technology is the next frontier for on-the-go engagement. As a partner to several educational entities, we’re able to help them with resources to meet our joint literacy goals. For example, we partner with Random House Children’s Books for our annual Soar with Reading initiative which encourages reading during the summer months. We recently introduced an app to the program, allowing us to enhance the reading experience beyond physical books with digital games and activities that appeal to children.

MP: What are some creative/unexpected ways to foster a love of learning in young children?

IG: You wouldn’t necessarily align an airline with literacy. However, during focus groups and research our customer and crewmembers shared that education is important to them and should be for the brands they support. Our Soar with Reading program provides age-appropriate books to children in underserved areas. We introduce reading in unique ways to our customers and communities. Not only do we provide activities and resources, we engage our customers at all customer touch points including in the community and via our website and inflight entertainment to join us in donating books to kids in need.

As an airline, we actively support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education starting at the grade-school level through the JetBlue Foundation. Tying reading into the world of aviation often lights a spark in young students. After all, reading is at the core of academic success including STEM education.

MP: How have you witnessed literacy efforts change over the past 5 years?

IG: There have been steep declines in literacy. With some reports showing that 33 percent of fourth graders are only reading at or below grade level, access to books is vital. There is a deficit in access to age-appropriate books in poor neighborhoods, with only one book for every 300 children, compared to 13 such books per child in middle-income neighborhood. To help increase access, JetBlue has donated nearly $1 million worth of books, in collaboration with our partners including First Book. Used for educational purposes, technology also makes everything relevant in real-time for students. It is important to utilize these resources in the classroom beyond traditional books.

We are also seeking help from experts in the field to help move the needle and increase access. We commissioned a study in partnership with Dr. Susan B. Neuman, PhD, a specialist in early literacy development whose research includes reading instruction for children living in poverty. She is helping us to dig deeper into the statistics and develop a plan that will really make an impact on literacy in US.

MP: What is the optimal age for literacy acquisition, and what course of action do you suggest to take advantage of that prime learning window?

IG: As a corporate supporter, our education partners have reiterated a need for resources and age-appropriate books. Studies show that children that are read to from the beginning have increased vocabulary and are more successful in school. It is never too early to push literacy. With the nation’s recent report cards reflecting stagnant reading scores for high school seniors, we created our Soar with Reading to encourage and share the gift of reading starting at the pre- and grade-school levels. Education and access to age-appropriate books is very important in building a strong foundation. This includes engaging students through means that they are currently using, including apps and other technology advancements.

MP: How can we make the love of reading a family affair?

IG: The Soar with Reading program was created as a family affair to encourage reading and help children’s imaginations take flight. Soar with Reading provides books to help maintain the knowledge base student’s built during the school year. A great way do this is with the support of family members. We encourage parents to read with their children wherever they are – at the grocery, in the airport, on the bus, it all makes a difference. We also provide interactive resources for the entire family and we also bring literacy to life with free reading events in JetBlue cities throughout the summer.

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December 16, 2014

Sister Sister! : A Pair of Siblings share the Cockpit

Women have historically been underrepresented in the field of aviation. Currently only  4% of commercial pilots are women. While we’re proud that our own representative number of female pilots is higher at 5+%, we know there’s a lot of room to increase the representation of women in the cockpit. JetBlue regularly sponsors the Women in Aviation organization and is well represented at their events. Recognizing the importance of getting children involved in aviation early on, we recently formed the JetBlue Foundation to help bridge this gap. We also know how much children seeing and learning from representative pilots, so with that in mind, we’d like to present you with just one notable flight pairing we saw on the line recently.

JetBlue pilots Pia and Anna-Maria Kymalainen grew up in an aviation family in Finland. With their father in aeronautical engineering and an older brother following in their father’s footsteps, the aspiration of flight was always close to home. Both sisters began their own careers flying corporate jets before finding their place here at JetBlue – Pia as an A320 Captain and Anna-Maria as First Officer.

It was a long time goal for both sisters to fly together and that dream recently came true. The women recently operated flight 1480 from FLL to DCA making them the first ever sister-sister flight crew at JetBlue!

pia and anna-maria

Pia began her aviation career flying freight and corporate jets before joining JetBlue nine years ago. While, Anna-Maria followed her big sister’s lead and also began flying corporate jets seven years ago until finding her home at JetBlue three years ago.

We love to see women like Pia and Anna-Maria showing young women that there are opportunities for them across all aspects of the aviation industry, and are proud of the work the JetBlue Foundation does in working to increase the number of women in the pilot ranks. In 2013, we created the JetBlue Foundation as a way to encourage and advance careers in aviation, specifically among underserved communities including women. The JetBlue Foundation provides learning opportunities for underserved groups by working hand-in-hand with local and national education institutions that support and foster aviation-related programs. On December 17, the JetBlue Foundation will host its second annual grant presentations for programs focused on encouraging aviation careers among women, people of color, veterans and other underserved groups. For more information on the JetBlue Foundation, visit www.jetblue.com/InspiringHumanity.

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December 8, 2014

DC Travel tips and tricks without a Presidential budget


I have taken the challenge of traveling to all 87 cities JetBlue flies to in 90 days with our 10th J.D. Power Award.  I just finished the first week of this adventure.  It was great! This week we visited airports in Washington DC, Virginia, Baltimore (DCA, IAD, RIC, BWI), Massachusetts and Rhode Island (BOS, PVD,ORH).  We traveled from our Nation’s Capital to Worcester, MA.  We learned from Crewmembers how to get around Washington, DC without a presidential budget and even how to properly pronounce Worcester. Watch the video here.

One of my favorite things about traveling is meeting people.  I met a wonderful group of Crewmembers at each city, and asked for some insight on their BlueCities.  Who would know better than them?  Here are the great tips and tricks they suggested when traveling to DC.

If you are traveling to the Dulles Airport, IAD and want to get to DC on a budget, the 5A Bus operates during Metro’s service hours to/from L’Enfant Plaza Metro station for only $7.  This would save you approximately $50 in cab fare you can use to have a nice dinner in the city.    A weekend trip to Washington DC is a wonderful, family friendly, and educational getaway.  Not only because all Smithsonian museums are free of charge but also for the user friendly public transportation.  When traveling to Washington Reagan, DCA the Metro is walking distance from the terminal. No need for a taxi.  All you have to do literally is cross the street.  This is a very convenient and budget-friendly choice.  For lodging options, staying in Northern Virginia (NoVa) and taking the Metro to DC is a great way to save money.  Find a hotel within walking distance to a Metro station or with shuttle service to/from the Metro (King Street, Braddock, Eisenhower, etc.).  Visiting Washington DC is the perfect combination of education and entertainment (or as I like to call it Edutainment). Next weekend trick your kids into learning with a budget-friendly trip to DC.


 Thanks to all the JetBlue Crewmembers who were incredibly hospitable, and provided us great travel insight.  For more inside scoop on the cities we have visited keep following us
Next week we will be traveling to the following airports:

HPN Westchester County, NY

SWF Steward, NY

BDL Bradley, CT

EWR Newark, NJ

LGA LaGuardia, NY

PHL Philadelphia, PA

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