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 School. The 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.