DALLAS, Oct. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), in partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), has awarded 187 students complimentary roundtrip air travel as part of the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! travel award program. The 2019 recipients are from 120 different schools across the country ranging from freshman to graduate students. Each year, ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! provides roundtrip air travel for recipients who meet socioeconomic and other criteria. A panel of judges comprised of college professors and education advocates met to select the recipients, who each were awarded four roundtrip tickets to allow them to stay connected with their families throughout the school year.
"Without the assistance of Southwest, my attempt to pursue an undergraduate degree would have been nearly impossible," said Jessica Arzola, a ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! Travel Award alumna and student at New York University (NYU). "I have been, and always will be, incredibly grateful to Southwest Airlines."
Through this national education initiative, HACU and Southwest Airlines® together have unforgettably impacted students, their communities, and their families during the past 15 years. Southwest has championed Hispanic success in higher education since 2005, by donating more than 4,000 tickets to students across the country for traveling to and from school.
"Southwest's purpose is to connect People to what's important in their lives," said Christine Ortega, Southwest Airlines' Senior Advisor of Community Outreach. "The lifeline of complimentary travel affords these college students an ability to remain connected to support systems and their families, while pursuing education toward their future success. Access to air travel allows a student to focus on learning, and to attain a college degree."
"HACU's partnership with Southwest Airlines in the ¡Lánzate! Travel Program has kept college students connected with their families for a decade-and-a-half," said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. "Student success often is dependent on support of families, and HACU and Southwest Airlines are committed to ensuring young people have the opportunity to reach their higher education goals for years to come."
To learn more about how Southwest and HACU are closing the achievement gap and showing young Hispanic students what is possible with a quality education, visit here.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain, and school districts throughout the U.S. The mission of HACU is to Champion Hispanic Success in Higher Education. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association's headquarters are located in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington D.C., and Sacramento, California. Information is available at www.hacu.net.
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SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.