SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico–(BUSINESS WIRE)–JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) today announced the JetBlue Foundation has awarded
$135,000 in grants to science, technology, engineering and mathematics
(STEM) education programs in Puerto Rico to aid in long-term
post-hurricane recovery. Grants of varying amounts were provided to
organizations that are investing in the island’s future and placing
aviation and STEM top-of-mind as career choices for students.
Earlier this spring, the JetBlue Foundation opened a granting
application cycle to qualified programs and organizations working to
fuel STEM learning. The Puerto Rico-specific grants are part of
100x35JetBlue, which is JetBlue’s ongoing initiative to help Puerto Rico
recover from Hurricane Maria through 35 ways over 100 days and beyond,
with the JetBlue now focusing on the long-term phase. JetBlue currently
serves three destinations in Puerto Rico including its San Juan focus
city where JetBlue is the largest carrier, as well as Aguadilla and
Ponce. This year, JetBlue celebrated its 16th anniversary of
service to Puerto Rico.
Grant Recipients include:
Ciencia Puerto Rico’s mission is to democratize science and
transform education in Puerto Rico by engaging and empowering a
diverse, global community of scientists, students, educators and
allies. Through its “Ciencia al Servicio de Puerto Rico” (Science in
Service of Puerto Rico) program, the non-profit will leverage its
large and committed network of more than 9,000 STEM professionals and
educators to transform the way science is taught on the island.
EcoExploratorio inspires people to explore, share and protect
the natural environment through STEM. EcoExploratorio will develop the
“In the Clouds” program to enhance Aviation Engineering and
Technology, Aviation Weather Forecasting and Sustainable Development.
“In the Clouds” will work with 25 girls ages 10 to 14, from
economically disadvantaged and under-represented communities
throughout San Juan to stimulate their interests in aviation and STEM.
Inter American University of Puerto Rico (INTER), a previous
JetBlue Foundation grant recipient, is the second largest university
system in Puerto Rico.
INTER Aguadilla focuses on
the holistic formation of students through excellence at the
undergraduate and graduate levels. At least 30 students per semester
will learn the culture of science, and all academic areas will be
strengthened with special attention to an interdisciplinary education
and the integration of technology. The Aguadilla Campus will form the
“Microbial Biodegradation of Jet Aviation Fuel” program as an
opportunity to mentor the next generation of the Puerto Rican STEM
INTER Bayamón produces competent
professionals with a high-quality academic education that is dynamic,
relevant, and responsive to the latest advances in STEM, aeronautics,
business administration, and the arts. The “Give Wings to Their
Dreams” project will partner with the School of Aeronautics and
JetBlue Foundation to support student pilots from economically
disadvantaged backgrounds. This program will aid in certifications and
provide support toward pilot licenses.
The Puerto Rico Aviation Maintenance Institute (PRAMI) is the
only institution in Puerto Rico that complies with Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA), part 147 for Aviation Maintenance Technician
schools. Following Hurricane María, their library and equipment were
damaged or destroyed. The Interactive Learning Space will receive
special new equipment and will use special technical software to
supplement traditional classroom learning. The initiative will also
help PRAMI comply with the Puerto Rico Approval State Agency for
accreditation and the FAA requirements.
The JetBlue Foundation’s new president, Ursula Hurley, was on hand to
distribute these grants at a special ceremony where she met with the
organizations that provide access to students and communities
traditionally under-represented in STEM fields. The JetBlue Foundation
was founded in 2013 with a mission to reach 5,000 students in five years
and provide educational opportunities through grants and in-kind support
to diverse programs, volunteerism and partnerships. Former JetBlue
Foundation President Joanna Geraghty, who is currently president and
chief operating officer at JetBlue, met this mission and recently passed
the baton to Hurley. Hurley, who also serves as vice president and
treasurer at JetBlue, will guide the Foundation in its next chapter of
empowering future aviation professionals.
“JetBlue and the JetBlue Foundation are dedicated to helping Puerto Rico
in its long-term recovery and towards an even brighter tomorrow. Our
focus is on investing in the next generation of aviation professionals,
and ensuring they are prepared to join the industry,” said Ursula
Hurley, president, JetBlue Foundation. “These grants are just one of
more than 35 efforts we’ve taken to invest in Puerto Rico, and will fuel
both the long-term success of the island and our industry.”
Beyond just grants, the JetBlue Foundation provides in-kind
support, mentoring, internships and much more to make a difference for
the next generation of aviators, engineers, dispatchers, schedulers,
aircraft mechanics and pilots and other STEM professionals. Over the
past five years, the Foundation has built ongoing relationships with
more than 50 aviation and STEM-focused programs and provided over $1.1
million in grants to help these programs take off and soar. For more
information on the JetBlue Foundation, visit jetbluefoundation.org.
About JetBlue in Puerto Rico – JetBlue launched service to San
Juan in 2002, and later expanded service into Ponce and Aguadilla.
Today, JetBlue is Puerto Rico’s largest airline and the island is home
to nearly 500 JetBlue crewmembers who support the airline’s operations
in its focus city of San Juan, as well as in Aguadilla and Ponce.
JetBlue’s mission of inspiring humanity, and its crewmembers in Puerto
Rico have enthusiastically supported the local community over the past
16 years, including through the 100x35JetBlue hurricane relief and
recovery initiative. A nod to the island’s 100×35 mile dimensions,
100x35JetBlue outlined 100 days and 35 ways – and beyond – of caring for
Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier
in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando,
and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 40 million customers a year to
100+ cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of
1,000 daily flights. For more information please visit jetblue.com.
About the JetBlue Foundation
The JetBlue Foundation, founded in 2013, is independent from JetBlue and
has a separate Board of Directors and an Advisory Committee both made up
of JetBlue crewmembers from across the airline. To learn more about the
JetBlue Foundation, visit jetbluefoundation.org.