Pushing Students Ever Higher: A look at JetBlue’s PENCIL School Partnership

The 2019 school year is in full swing and that means that PENCIL School Partnerships are also picking back up!

At JetBlue, volunteers are excited to jump in as well. “I am looking forward to meeting the next round of PENCIL students,” Madison Hart, Senior Analyst Safety Management System says. “Each year, the students bring a new outlook on the world and I am happy to learn from them. I hope each PENCIL student takes away just one thing (if not more) that they will hold onto in their upcoming years. I certainly wish I had a program like this when I was their age!”

A PENCIL partner for over ten years, JetBlue has long committed to opening students’ eyes to new opportunities. Their partnership with Aviation High School, which awards technical diplomas and allows students to work for an airline after graduation, highlights this well. Anthony Cimino, Analyst, System Operations Safety Programs and SMS says, “To me, PENCIL is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn how they can apply their schoolwork to the real world at a young age. There are so many avenues you can take in the aviation industry and I hope that my role in PENCIL has helped inspire a career path that may have been overlooked in the past.”

JetBlue’s second partnership with Russell Sage Junior High School offers other exciting opportunities, as Razia Mohamed, Recruiter, Talent Acquisition explains. “This [past] year when we held our end of year event at the Hangar at JFK Airport, we combined both schools,” she says. “It was great to see students bonding together and learning from each other – more so the Aviation High School students being sought as a mentor to the students at Russell Sage.”

Not stopping there, JetBlue also engages students by bringing them outside the classroom, outside the office and sometimes, even outside New York City with an annual college visit. Last year, for example, PENCIL led a trip to the Boston area, thanks to the generosity of JetBlue, which gave students the chance to tour both MIT and Harvard. Each time, these events help students explore an even broader array of options after high school.

PENCIL is grateful for all the time and energy that JetBlue puts into building relationships with schools and their students. We cannot agree more with Razia when she says, “Looking forward to more of this partnership this coming school season!”