September 9, 2013

A JetBlue Reunion 10 Years in the Making

Nearly ten years ago, JetBlue Captain Eric Scott invited a young traveler to visit the cockpit and unknowingly changed this boy’s life.

Elijah Hedrington was just five years old, traveling to Burlington, VT as part of the Fresh Air Fund. This program provides free summer experiences to New York City children from low-income communities. Elijah’s escort happened to be Sheila Donnell, a JetBlue Inflight crewmember who volunteers for the program. On this flight, Sheila introduced Elijah to Capt. Scott. Capt. Scott invited Elijah into the cockpit. At that very instant, Elijah decided he wanted to become a pilot, just like Capt. Scott.

Elijah and Capt. Scott's first meeting in 2003

Elijah and Capt. Scott’s first meeting in 2003

Now at age 14, Elijah is continuing on his path to become a pilot. He is a sophomore at Bronx Aerospace High School, and a member of the school’s robotics team that is building an airplane and seeking permission from the FAA to fly the aircraft. After recently hearing that Elijah is following in his footsteps, Capt. Scott offered to become Elijah’s mentor to help keep him on track and encourage his career aspirations.

JetBlue arranged a reunion for Capt. Scott and Elijah in August at JetBlue’s Terminal 5 (T5) at New York’s JFK airport. Capt. Scott treated Elijah and a group of his friends to a special behind-the-scenes tour of T5.

JetBlue Captain Eric Scott and Elijah Hedrington recently reunited at JFK Airport after nearly 10 years.

JetBlue Captain Eric Scott and Elijah Hedrington recently reunited at JFK Airport after nearly 10 years.

JetBlue’s CEO, Dave Barger welcomed Elijah Hedrington to Terminal 5 for a reunion with mentors Captain Eric Scott and First Officer Jovan O’Bryant.

JetBlue’s CEO, Dave Barger welcomed Elijah Hedrington to Terminal 5 for a reunion with mentors Captain Eric Scott and First Officer Jovan O’Bryant.

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6 Comments on “A JetBlue Reunion 10 Years in the Making”

  • Posted by Theresa L. Cothran on September 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    What a beautiful story! I love hearing stories that are positive. Jet Blue has always been my airline of choice and this story just reinforces why I love your airline so much. Thank you Captain Eric Scott for making such a difference in this young mans life.

  • Posted by Theresa L. Cothran on September 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    What a beautiful story! Thank you Captain Eric Scott for making such a difference in this young mans life. You are one of Jet Blue’s finest!

  • Posted by Janice Simon on September 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Awesome. What wonderful role models for Elijah. What a motived kid Elijah is. I wish him much success in his passion of flight. We need pilots who love what they do and love to fly.

  • Posted by novelet lobban on September 9, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I THAT IS AWESOME. have the same story my son was only two when he toured the airplane he made that same career decision Today he is a pilot with 10 years experience employed by Chautauqua Airlines. He hope to join the JETBLUE team soon. Way to go Elijah the sky is the limits I will pray for you as you soar to new heights. Thanks Captain Scott.

  • Posted by Natalie A. on September 9, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    What a refreshing story on a news day filled with gloom & doom! Captain Scott, you ROCK! Our country needs more people like you! Elijah, keep following your dreams — the sky is the limit!

  • Posted by PATTY LE ROY on September 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    WHAT A WONDERFUL STORY…..THIS DOES MY HEART GOOD.
    THIS IS SUCH A FANTASTIC PROGRAM………THANKS TO ELIJAH ,CAPTAIN ERIC SCOTT, DAVE, AND FIRST OFFICER JOVAN O’BRYANT AND OF COURSE HIS HOST MOTHER SHEILA DONNELL……..ONE THING LED TO ANOTHER……..KEEP UP YOUR HARD WORK ELIJAH……….YOU WILL SUCCEED….CONGRATULATIONS…….. BEST TO YOU ALL…. I AM STARTING MY 48TH YEAR WITH THIS SUPER VOLUNTEER PROGRAM……………PATTY LE ROY
    FUND REP….HOST, CHAIRMAN

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