Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot Program celebrates 10 years

April 26, 2007

By hammersmith

[Source: PR Newswire] — What if you could inspire struggling students to believe in themselves — and in their future careers? What if you could ignite a students’ desire to pursue a degree in science, math, writing, or other fields? What if you could look back on the past ten years and see that you made a difference?

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today celebrated the contribution of hundreds of Pilots who have helped make a difference in their local communities by volunteering in the Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot community education program that is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year. The “school assembly” style event included hundreds of Employees, Southwest leadership, and special VIP guests who cheered amid sky-high confetti as Southwest Airlines unveiled a Boeing 737-700 plane dedicated to the Adopt-A- Pilot program.

The plane unveiling marked the finale of the event that included comments from Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, President Colleen Barrett, and former NASA Astronaut turned Southwest Pilot, Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson. Also featured was a “class reunion” with “original” Pilots who have volunteered in the program continuously since 1997, including Phoenix-based Captain Jesus Melian, who was reunited with former Adopt-A-Pilot student Chun Mei Yu. Melian mentored Yu’s class several years ago at a small Connecticut school. She is now pursuing a nursing degree at the University of Connecticut and credits Adopt-A-Pilot with helping inspire her when she was a young immigrant, acclimating to her new life in the United States. [To read the full press release, click here.]