As I think about the 10,000-hour milestone that our Pilots have “logged” in support of Adopt-a-Pilot, I am blown away! From what I gather, the true number of hours may even be greater since some of our Pilots didn’t track their time. I am very proud to be one of Southwest’s Adopt-a-Pilot volunteers and I am also very proud that Southwest continues to support and grow this program that has (and will continue to) made a positive impact on many young students’ lives!
As a parent of school-age children, I am very grateful of how Adopt-a-Pilot has given me a tangible way to be a partner in my own children’s education. Many Pilots, including myself, find it challenging to be fully engaged in their children’s schooling because our schedules take us far away from home for half of every week. With our traveling routine, it would be easy to watch from the sidelines as we let the school system take care of the business of educating our children. We cannot help our children figure out every difficult homework problem or study for every test when we get into our hotel room after midnight. We often have to miss classroom events and extracurricular functions because we are in the air. But, through Adopt-a-Pilot, I can offer the school a proven program that lets me work alongside my child’s teachers and with my child’s classmates and become an “insider” at the school and even a bit better parent.
By far the greatest benefit I have seen from putting my little chunk of those 10,000 hours into Adopt a Pilot every February and March, has been the satisfaction that I have made an impact in children’s lives. When I show up for my school visits, the students are so enthusiastic and full of questions, they show so much excitement for our lesson and are so eager to show me what they know or have learned. From science experiments with air pressure to game shows about geography, I always have a rapt audience. In the end, I most enjoy reading their essays about their career goals and their plans to achieve that goal and the feedback they get from our Customers after I pass them out during a long flight. When students come up to me, even after several years, and recount their favorite activities with Adopt-a-Pilot, I know we’re accomplishing something special together!
Thanks Southwest, for sponsoring the Adopt-a-Pilot program; thanks to all the schools out there that give us the opportunity to bring Adopt-a-Pilot to the students, and thanks to all my fellow Adopt-a-Pilots out there–through a few hours at a time, we have all chipped in to create a mountain of impact!
For a video about this milestone, please click here.