Adopt-A-Pilot’s (AAP) 2009 collector’s edition tie designed by Maddie Ramirez of Briarhill Middle School in Highland Village, Texas made its debut last week at a surprise ceremony honoring the young artist. Maddie was one of more than 30,000 students who participated in the AAP program in 2008. The winner of the AAP Tie Contest receives the distinction of “concepting” the much-coveted, collectors edition AAP tie worn as part of the official uniform by hundreds of Southwest Airlines Pilots. Maddie’s name is also printed on the back of every tie. Her design was one of more than 3,000 entries!
At the ceremony, Maddie was surprised by her family, her ‘adopted’ Pilot, Bill Stone, her fifth-grade teacher Susan Buchannan of Heritage Elementary School, and Gary Kelly, our Chairman, CEO, and President. Congrats Maddie!
Adopt-A-Pilot is Southwest’s premiere community program. This year, more than 750 Pilots will donate their time to help make learning fun for students across the country. During the four-week-long mentorship program, Pilots volunteer their time in adoptive classrooms and correspond from the “road” via e-mail and postcards. Classrooms chart their Pilot’s course on an official United States route map and complete lessons related to the Pilot’s monthly flying schedule.
For additional program information and to view the program curriculum, please log on to the AAP web site. Be sure and listern to this week's Red Belly Radio podccast (at the bottom right of the Nuts About Southwest home page) to hear interviews and audio footage from the 2009 Tie Contest Ceremony! Also, check out the video in our video blog section.