Throughout November, JetBlue is continuing its mission of inspiring humanity with JetBlue For Good Month, a celebration of kindness and good deeds. Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing stories from our crewmembers and community partners who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in their communities.
Crewmember: Abby Diocares
Role: Associate Engineer, Aircraft Systems
Years at JetBlue: 1.5 years
What inspired you to get involved in giving back to your community?
I moved from the West Coast to the East Coast to join the Technical Operations team at JetBlue, and it was a big adjustment. I realized that the best way to make the transition as smooth as possible was by getting involved in the community. Getting involved is a great way to meet new people! I saw that JetBlue has a Women in Flight Crewmember Resource Group and immediately joined. I started to volunteer more and more with Women in Flight, and developed a passion for empowering underrepresented groups in the industry. Realizing I wanted to have a more influential role, I recently took on a more active position as a member of the leadership team. From there, it turned into a domino effect to join other organizations and volunteer groups to not only create a camaraderie, but also to help out others.
What organizations are you involved with now?
Women in Flight has afforded me many opportunities to share my excitement about the aviation industry. Recently, through my involvement with the group, I was a panelist to speak to students from Vaughn College, advocating for STEM education. I also had the opportunity to speak with high school students from BUILD, an organization that works with under-resourced communities to drive enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and outside-the-box thinking. I feel that it’s important to share my experiences with students so they can get exposure to less traditional career paths. Another really memorable experience through Women in Flight was an event called Fly Like a Girl. The event brought girls aged 8 – 12 to the Hangar at JFK to hear firsthand from crewmembers what it’s like to work in aviation. We showed the girls the mechanical parts of the aircraft, and explained how everything works. It was nice to show them what a day in the life of an engineer in the aviation industry looks like. Other women working in a variety of roles were there too, so we were able to teach the girls about the many different roles they can hold within aviation, and empower them to believe in themselves.
I also had the opportunity to volunteer recently through JetBlue with TECHO House Build in Cartagena, Colombia to build houses in a poverty-stricken area. During the trip, alongside the TECHO crew, JetBlue crewmembers built four houses in two days!
Lastly, I am a board member for Reach the World, a non-profit organization that focuses on connecting students at underserved schools (mostly in New York City) with world travelers. The idea is that by connecting students with young travelers, these students gain exposure to something new, and they feel inspired to learn more about the world outside of their own immediate surroundings. I found out about this organization via www.jetblueforgood.com. I was hoping to find organizations with missions and values that aligned with mine, and Reach the World was a perfect fit. I didn’t travel much as a kid, but I had family in the Philippines, and I loved the idea of being able to connect with them from halfway around the world – I wanted to play a role in creating that magic for other people. I joined the organization as a volunteer, and am proud to now serve on the board.
What are some of the moments that stand out to you from your experiences volunteering?
The trip to Cartagena for the TECHO House Build was an eye-opening experience for me. The people we were helping were so grateful of the work we were doing to provide them with shelter. I don’t speak much Spanish, but I realized there were other universal ways for us to communicate – I could smile at them, they could smile back, and we didn’t need to speak the same language to understand what that meant. This whole experience – and seeing the challenges that some of these communities deal with on a daily basis – reminded me to appreciate and reflect on my own simple luxuries.
What advice do you have for people who want to get involved with their communities, but don’t know where to start?
Reach out! It actually is pretty easy to get involved, by doing your own research to find organizations that align with your values, or by leveraging resources through your company. I’m thankful that JetBlue made it easy for me to get involved through community partners. One thing I have come to learn is that at JetBlue, we truly live our values – Safety, Caring, Integrity, Passion, Fun. These values are real, and crewmembers make a big effort to incorporate these values into their everyday lives. Volunteering with fellow crewmembers is also a lot of fun! It creates a unique opportunity for us to get to know one another outside of the office, and the focus on being involved in the community is one of the things that helps make our culture so unique and genuine.