Southwest Airlines Celebrates Third Year in Awarding College Students Free Travel

Southwest Airlines Celebrates Third Year in Awarding College Students Free Travel


Dallas, TX–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 7, 2007–Southwest Airlines and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) announce the winners of their annual educational travel award program — “Dándole Alas a Tu Éxito/Giving Flight to Your Success.” For a list of the winners, please visit:

Through this national educational initiative, Southwest Airlines provides roundtrip travel to select students with socio-economic need and who travel away from home to pursue a higher education. During the 2007-2008 academic year, those students will each be able to use their free ticket for roundtrip travel on Southwest Airlines.

“Leaving home for college can be a stressful time when the family bond may be stretched. For Latino families, this is particularly difficult,” said Christine Ortega, Southwest’s Corporate Community Affairs Manager. “Southwest Airlines is pleased to be a part of these students’ college experience and to help defray the travel costs associated with a higher education. Providing air travel to families allows students to realize their dream of obtaining a college degree while preserving strong family bonds.”

For winner Hedy Romero, a freshman at the University of California at Los Angeles, the travel award will allow her to empower others. “This award would give me the ‘wings’ I need to work towards the dream my parents and I share — to be the first college graduate in our family and to use that education to empower our community,” Romero wrote in her application.

“HACU is very excited about this program,” said Dr. Antonio Flores, HACU’s President and CEO. “It opens up new college choices for Hispanic young people and it allows the family, in a small but important way, to become a part of the college experience.”

For winner Sara Saldana, a senior at Bowling Green State University, the travel award will keep her connected to her family. In her application, she wrote “this award would be the perfect opportunity to ensure that my family is able to be part of my success, which I know would mean so much to them.”

Education advocates and community leaders from across the country made up the selection committee to determine the winners. For a list of the selection committee, please visit:

“Education helps people become masters of their destiny,” said Dr. Patricia Witherspoon, Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Texas at El Paso and a selection committee member. “This program gives students the wings to pursue their goals. It’s about giving students an opportunity.”

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) was established in 1986 with a founding membership of 18 institutions. Today, HACU represents more than 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. Although HACU’s member institutions in the U. S. represent less than 10 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide, together they are home to more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college students. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HACU is a non-profit organization committed to assuring higher education access and success for Hispanic students. For more information, visit

After 36 years of service, Southwest Airlines continues to offer the best value in airline travel, allowing Customers the opportunity to travel nonstop throughout the country at a very low fare. Southwest offers a very comfortable ride with all premium leather seats and plenty of legroom. Southwest does not charge Customers an extra fee for changing their reservation and continues to offer free amenities. Customers enjoy complimentary pillows, blankets, snacks, juice, soda, and water on all flights. Since 1987, the airline has maintained the fewest overall Customer complaints as published in the Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report. Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the nation’s largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 64 cities in 32 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,300 flights a day and has more than 33,000 Employees systemwide.

Southwest Airlines Celebrates Third Year in Awarding College Students Free Travel