Southwest Airlines Partners With the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to...

Southwest Airlines Partners With the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to Offer College Students Free Travel

Southwest extends deadline for the ‘Dándole Alas a Tu Éxito/Giving Flight to Your Success’ Travel Award Program


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Dallas, TX–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–June 14, 2006–Today Southwest Airlines, in conjunction with The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), extends the deadline of its annual educational travel award program — “Dándole Alas a Tu Éxito/Giving Flight to Your Success.” The deadline has been extended until Friday, June 30, 2006. Through this national educational initiative, Southwest Airlines will provide roundtrip tickets to students with socio-economic need and who travel away from home to pursue a higher education.

“We received an overwhelming response from students when we launched the program last year. Our goal is to continue furthering educational opportunities and the retention of college students,” said Christine Ortega, Southwest Airlines’ Multicultural Community Affairs Manager. “We want to encourage students to complete their college journey and keep them connected to those who matter most — ‘la familia’ (the family).”

In this year’s program, each student is eligible to win one or two roundtrip tickets for the student and/or parent to use when traveling to/from the university. The complimentary airline ticket(s) can be used throughout any of the 62 destinations that Southwest serves. To be eligible, the student must apply online at http://www.hacu.net. Students who attend a HACU institution or a non-HACU institution can apply. A selection committee of national education advocates and community leaders will determine the winners based on specific criteria. To view the criteria, please refer to the following link: http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/press/college1.pdf.

Additional information regarding the travel award program from Southwest Airlines and HACU can be found at http://www.hacu.net or contact: Lorena Blanco, HACU’s Director of Development and Marketing, at (210) 576-3224 or lblanco@hacu.net. To view this year’s poster announcing the program, visit: http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/press/college2.pdf. Travel award recipients will be notified in August 2006.

“HACU is thrilled to be a part of another year of the SWA scholarship program,” said Antonio Flores, President and CEO of HACU. “Last year’s entries touched our review panel and illustrated the need our Hispanic students have to make their families a part of their educational experience. Distance is one of many obstacles any student leaving home for school faces, but this program helps them overcome at least this one obstacle.”

According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, experts on Hispanic college students believe attainment levels would improve if students were more willing to travel longer distances to colleges well suited to meet their needs.

“Based on the research used to develop this program, we saw an opportunity to link students and families together. We want to make sure Latino college students complete their education and have a chance to reconnect with family,” Ortega said. “The students will face many challenges in college, and a visit with family will inspire them to keep going and graduate.”

HACU, which has its national headquarters in San Antonio, Texas represents more than 450 colleges and universities, including Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), which collectively serve more than two-thirds of all Hispanic higher education students in the United States. HACU’s international membership includes leading higher education institutions in Latin America and in Spain.

Southwest Airlines, the nation’s largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 62 airports in 32 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates almost 3,100 flights a day and has almost 32,000 Employees systemwide.

http://www.southwest.com

Southwest Airlines Partners With the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to Offer College Students Free Travel