Southwest Airlines Champion Education by Launching New Scholarship

by Chantal Welch
Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has furthered its commitment to empowering the communities it serves by launching the Southwest Airlines Scholarship. The airline’s aim is to highlight the importance of education as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Southwest Airlines aircraft taking off

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 taking off © Quintin Soloviev

Aviation Inspiring the Future

In its 50th year of service, community outreach is Southwest Airlines’ key focus in its education initiatives. It believes educated communities are empowered communities. Championing education for all continues to be a foundational principle that drives Southwest Airlines’ work across the communities it serves. The American carrier has seen first hand the positive impact its existing programmes offering educational opportunities have had on communities.

The Dallas-based airline has encouraged students of all ages to learn through its educational initiatives, such as the Adopt-a-Pilot programme, the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off Higher Education Travel Award and the Herbert D. Kelleher and Rollin W. King Scholarship, an opportunity that’s been available to Southwest employees for more than 40 years.

Educational opportunities at Southwest Airlines

Educational opportunities at Southwest Airlines © Scott Graham via Unsplash

Championing Education and Careers in Aviation

The goal of the new Southwest Airlines Scholarship is to provide financial support to students seeking higher education degrees and certificates, whilst inspiring them to pursue careers in the aviation industry.

As the world continues to suffer from the impact of Covid-19, with huge unemployment, and job losses, this initiative offers an educational lifeline to those who want to upskill and seek a new career in aviation. During these difficult times, it’s another great example of an airline that is giving back to the community.

For airlines, it’s key to their survival to demonstrate corporate social responsibility and offer more than just a transport service. Outside of operational duties, airlines can make a huge impact by providing education, as we have seen with Qatar Airways’ Educate a Child programme. By offering educational opportunities to all, airlines are putting purpose before profit.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737s

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737s © DallasTimes

The Southwest Scholarship: Everything you need to know

The Southwest Airlines Scholarship is accessible to the general public and students can start submitting applications from April 1, until May 13, 2021. The award intends to build a diverse selection of talent and highlight the importance of inclusion for future generations in the airline industry.

The scholarships are one-year awards for students pursuing higher education. Students must already be enrolled at an accredited vocational, community college, or an undergraduate programme and pursuing a degree or post-secondary certificate.  All scholarships are managed and funded by the Southwest Airlines Scholarship Fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) a separate entity from Southwest, which is not a part of Southwest’s operating budget.

Southwest Airlines aircraft in flight

Southwest Airlines aircraft in flight © Kyle Glenn via Unsplash

Bob Jordan, Executive Vice President of Corporate Services said:

“With these scholarship opportunities, we’re encouraging students nationwide to soar to new heights through learning. Through our numerous education-focused initiatives, we’ve seen the positive impact these programs can have on students from elementary school to higher education and into their careers At Southwest, we believe educated communities are empowered communities.”

What are your thoughts on Southwest Airlines’ educational initiatives? Should industry businesses offer more educational opportunities? Let us know in the comments below

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