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JetBlue Foundation awards $25K to UAGM for aviation program

The Ana G. Méndez University’s (UAGM) Carolina Campus received a $25,000 grant from The JetBlue Grants Foundation for its “Increasing Latinos in Aviation Careers” (ILAC) proposal, which seeks to stimulate interest in aviation to increase the number of minority groups entering the airline industry as professional pilots.

Funds awarded to UAGM Carolina will be used to pay for flight experiences and training, additional training in a flight simulator, and memberships in professional pilot associations, such as the Latino Pilot Association and Women in Aviation.

In addition, the project will include mentoring by JetBlue pilots, knowledge of the aviation industry, and financial assistance with part of their flight training.

The project, in conjunction with the Professional Pilot Aviation Science associate degree program, provides students with a new perspective on careers in aviation that would not normally be considered by Latinos and women, college officials said.

“This is a very important aspect since the industry’s demographic data shows that there are only 5.1% of Latinos and 4.6% of women who are professional pilots,” according to the proposal.

UAGM Carolina is the only institution in Puerto Rico that received this grant. The program also recently received part 141 recertification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

During a visit, the agency’s inspector noted that the program meet all the requirements to receive the “Pilot School” certificate for two more years.

Aside from the grant to the local university, the JetBlue Foundation supported eight other nonprofits including the Mariposa DR Foundation, in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.

The entity — the only other one in the Caribbean to receive funding — encourages and ignites curiosity in young girls by fostering connections between scientific exploration and everyday life through its Citizen Science program.

“Funding from the JetBlue Foundation will support further curriculum development, technology and physical resource updates, as well as initiate a new weather journaling series to help young girls become more aware and in tune with their environment, empowering them to become powerful advocates for themselves and the planet,” JetBlue said in a statement.

The JetBlue Foundation is accepting applications for its next grant cycle through Sept. 30.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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