Southwest Airlines Grows Partnership with Year Up, Donates Plane Tickets for Second Annual Alumni Summit in Boston

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One of the several events facilitated by Southwest Airlines, Alumni Summit will bring together year up graduates on October 17th.

Continuing its support of Year Up’s mission to close the Opportunity Divide, Southwest Airlines has committed to donate plane tickets for graduates traveling to the second annual Year Up Alumni Summit in Boston, October 17-19.

This donation is one of several that Southwest Airlines has made since 2012, allowing Year Up staff, alumni, and current students to attend program-driven events around the United States. In June, Southwest Airlines supported Year Up’s Governance summit, enabling alumni and students from across the country to interact, participate in and help lead discussions with Year Up’s national and local boards.

“Southwest Airlines’ commitment is critical in enabling Year Up to establish connections across the country and to hold meetings that advance our mission,” said Year Up Founder and CEO, Gerald Chertavian. “With their support, Year Up alumni will be able to travel from cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and from all over the eastern seaboard to Boston to meet with their peers and continue working to bridge the Opportunity Divide.”

Lauded by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton for its proven, scalable model, Year Up is a national nonprofit organization that provides urban young adults with an intensive, yearlong training program and career-focused education in growing industries. Year Up helps young people not enrolled in school or participating in the labor market access to professional employment and higher education. In turn, companies gain access to a pipeline of high-quality entry-level talent.

“Not only does Year Up have a proven-track record of success in helping young adults enter professional careers, it also enables them to becomes community leaders,” said Southwest Airline’s Jill Simonson, Regional Leader, Community Affairs and Grassroots. “We’re proud to support Year Up and the empowering work of its alumni.”

“Year Up is not just a program, it’s a movement,” said Year Up alumna and National board member Shanique Davis. “The Alumni Summit allows us to support each other both in our professional careers and in our community involvement.”

“We’re coming together to discuss how we can help other young adults reach their full potential,” said Year Up alumnus and National board member Greg Walton. “Year Up provided us with a great opportunity and it’s our turn to pay it forward.”

The theme for the Alumni Summit is “Opportunity Starts Here,” and the event will bring together 150 alumni from around the country to collaborate with each other and grow the Year Up national alumni network. Its four primary goals are to connect alumni from different Year Up sites, provide an opportunity to showcase local work in communities, help alumni build skills and gain access to professional resources, and continue to build an alumni movement and empower leaders. This is the second year that Southwest Airlines has donated plane tickets to allow alumni to travel to the Summit.

About Year Up Inc.
Year Up's mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Year Up achieves this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits. Its holistic approach focuses on students' professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. Year Up currently serves more than 1,900 students a year at sites in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York City, Providence, San Francisco Bay Area, the National Capital Region, and Puget Sound (Seattle). To learn more, visit http://www.yearup.org or http://www.youtube.com/yearupinc .

About Southwest Airlines Co.
In its 43rd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary customer service delivered by nearly 46,000 employees to more than 100 million customers annually. Southwest is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded, and including wholly-owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways, operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircrafts in the world to serve 97 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and six near-international countries. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its people and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2012 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at southwest.com/citizenship.

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Roberto Zeledon
Year Up
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