NEW YORK, NY – JetBlue today announced the third round of grants provided by the JetBlue Foundation. The JetBlue Foundation, an education-focused entity which furthers the airline’s effort to place aviation top-of-mind as a career choice for students, awarded $150,000 in grants to help encourage aviation programs that support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives.
The JetBlue Foundation provided six grants, each worth $25,000, to help young aviators’ dreams take flight. These grants will help propel programs that encourage STEM education, including initiatives that reach underserved communities including women, minority groups and veterans. In addition to grants, the JetBlue Foundation also provides in-kind support to make a difference among the next generation of aviators, dispatchers, aircraft mechanics and pilots.
“The biggest hurdle to a career in aviation is limited access,” said Joanna Geraghty, president, board of directors, JetBlue Foundation. “The JetBlue Foundation is eliminating barriers by encouraging STEM education as early as possible. We are supporting the next generation of aviation professionals and ensuring that the future of our industry remains strong.”
On March 31, the JetBlue Foundation hosted its third annual grant check presentation at a special event at JetBlue University, the airline’s state-of-the-art training facility in Orlando. Aspiring aviators, administrators and students were treated to a one-of-a-kind experience including access to JetBlue’s flight simulators, training cabins and crewmember lodging facility. The event also included opportunities for the students to learn more about the various career opportunities available at JetBlue.
This year’s JetBlue Foundation grant recipients include:
• Thomas Edison State College Foundation (Trenton, New Jersey) – The school will use this grant to develop a bachelor’s degree program in Aviation Management. This program will be available to all students enrolled in the College’s School of Applied Science and Technology (AST) and will specifically reach veterans, women and under-represented ethnic groups.
• Junior High School 088 Peter Rouget (Brooklyn, New York) – M.S. 88 is a three-year, Title I middle school located in Park Slope, Brooklyn. This grant will fund the development of a Fabrication Laboratory for STEM-learning, an Integrated Project Week and field trips and fieldwork. The laboratory will help students develop skills in engineering and explore careers in STEM. While, Integrated Project Week will provide a unique opportunity for students and teachers to venture outside of the traditional classroom setting to engage in student-centered, applied learning experiences that support and expose students to STEM-related thinking.
• EdVestors (Boston, Massachusetts) – EdVestors’ mission is to increase the number of schools in Boston that deliver improved educational outcomes for all children. Through its Zeroing in on Math program, a multi-year, citywide initiative that launched in spring 2015, EdVestors is working with public and private partners to increase student achievement in math throughout Boston.
• Aviation Career and Technical School (Long Island City, New York) – This state endorsed Careers in Technical Education (CTE) program provides students with a world-class education. Its curriculum prepares students for a New York State Regents Diploma and FAA certification as aircraft maintenance technicians. This grant will help fund a new computer lab to better prepare students for industry standards. Aviation High School received a grant from JetBlue in 2013 to improve their welding lab. To date nearly 400 students have been impacted by the enhancements to this curriculum and program.
• Universidad Interamerican de Puerto Rico (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) – With this grant, the university will create an educational mentoring program for girls to develop an interest for aviation. The “Girls in Aviation” educational and mentoring program will identify key elements of aeronautical education to spark interest among girls ages 10-17.
• Project Scientist (Laguna Beach, CA) – The promise of Project Scientist is to educate, coach, and advocate for girls and women with an aptitude, talent and passion for STEM. The program serves low-income girls ages 4-12. With this grant, more girls will have an access to six weeks of programming at Caltech during summer 2016 and throughout the 2016-2017 school year.
Over the past three years, the JetBlue Foundation has built lasting relationships with more than 20 aviation-focused programs and provided nearly $350,000 in grants to help these programs take off. Beyond grants, the JetBlue Foundation provides mentoring, internships and more. JetBlue supports STEM education though a variety of initiatives. The airline hosts a unique education pathway from relationships with elementary school students and mentoring high school and college students to its University Gateway Program, which leads to positions as Pilot Trainees with JetBlue.
The JetBlue Foundation, founded in 2013, is legally independent from JetBlue and has a separate Board of Directors and an Advisory Committee both made up of JetBlue crewmembers from across the airline.