GB Magazine August 2023 | Page 50

SWA Community


Promises2Kids is dedicated to creating a brighter future for foster children in San Diego County . From the moment they come into foster care and through to adulthood , Promises2Kids provides the hope , support and opportunities they need to change their lives for the better . Programs include Camp Connect , Guardian Scholars , Foster Funds and the A . B . and Jessie Polinsky Center . We are proud to support the positive impact of community partners as they continue putting their Hearts in action by seeking opportunities to make a difference in the world around us . At Southwest we believe community is more than a place - it ’ s at the heart of what brings us together .

Kayla Valencia
Community Outreach Regional Manager Southwest Airlines

It snows in Arizona , even in March . This was news to 13 foster youth Promises2Kids hosted on a college campus tour . They were juniors and seniors in high school , the perfect age to be considering their futures . They packed their sandals , sundresses , and t-shirts , and boarded a Southwest Airlines flight to visit Northern Arizona University , Arizona State University , and The University of Arizona to open their minds to the many possibilities .

Air travel is a rare experience for foster youth , and Southwest Airlines generously provided roundtrip airfare for all foster youth and chaperones . There were some understandable nerves arriving at the airport , but several admitted it was mostly excitement . Some learned what “ carry on ” means , humbly accepting Southwest Airlines ’ assistance checking their oversized luggage . Once on the plane , all wanted window seats , but settled for taking turns . One student thought that distributing snacks was something airlines only did in the 1950s and was delighted when her snack arrived . Excitement built as they descended into Phoenix , ready to drive to Northern Arizona University .
Many felt a connection to Flagstaff and the surrounding picturesque nature . The snow and pine trees sparked ideas about the life-changing journey college can be . Some felt
50 GBSAN . COM | AUGUST 2023