JetBlue Celebrates Black History Month – Inspiring the Next Generation of Aviators

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JetBlue Celebrates Black History Month – Inspiring the Next Generation of Aviators

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.@JetBlue Celebrates Black History Month, introduce aviation to students from underserved communities http://3bl.me/n8aem9
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 11:05am

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Aviation is not often a career choice for students of color. When thinking of pilots of color, the illustrious Tuskegee Airmen come to mind. However, fast forward 70 years… according to current statistics, less than four percent of pilots in the commercial aviation industry are African American. The JetBlue Foundation and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) are trying to change that! Over the past three years the two organizations have partnered on the Aviation Careers Education (ACE) Academy to introduce aviation to students from underserved communities.  

The goal of the ACE Academy initiative is to increase awareness of aviation-related careers among students of color and students from underserved areas. Realizing the importance of students seeing role models that look like themselves, several JetBlue pilots have spearheaded this initiative in New York, Orlando, Long Beach and the Caribbean.

“Growing up in Queens, I lived minutes away from JFK Airport, yet it was a world away. I remember telling people that I wanted to become a pilot when I grew up. Some folks in my neighborhood didn’t think this was feasible or even within the realm of possibility for me. After fulfilling my dream and becoming a captain, I decided to help mentor the next generation of pilots including those from communities like the one I grew up in to help their dreams become a reality,” said JetBlue Captain Jovan O’Bryant and Director of the OBAP New York ACE Academy.

“We are here as mentors trying to teach them and For the past three years, the JetBlue Foundation has worked with OBAP to bring Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academies to life in select JetBlue cities. OBAPs mission is to increase African-American presence in the aerospace industry by connecting industry professionals with aspiring aviators eager to follow their footsteps.show them there are black pilots. There are various jobs available in the aviation field,” said Gary Commook, Director of the Orlando ACE Academy.

For the past three years, the JetBlue Foundation has worked with OBAP to bring Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academies to life in select JetBlue cities. OBAPs mission is to increase African-American presence in the aerospace industry by connecting industry professionals with aspiring aviators eager to follow their footsteps.

JetBlue has a unique education pathway from relationships with elementary school students and mentoring high school and college students to our University Gateway program which leads to positions as Pilot Trainees with JetBlue. We encourage several cost effective ways to bring people into the field of aviation. Several paths are based on a future aviators passion and aptitude for flying versus more  traditional paths that can be more financially restrictive.

Keywords: Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives | Aviation Career Education (ACE) | Careers | JetBlue Airways | Social Impact & Volunteering | Youth Action

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