Houston, TX (March 14, 2021) – Officials from United Airlines visited Texas Southern University on Wednesday, March 9, to announce a partnership with the university’s Aviation Science and Technology program, including the Professional Pilot concentration. The partnership includes a $50,000 a year scholarship program and ongoing mentorship activities between United employees and students in the program.
United Houston Hub Vice President Phil Griffith presented the university with a $100,000 check for the first two years of the scholarship program. Representatives from United, TSU, and the Aviation Science and Technology advisory committee then toured the program’s flight simulation labs in the Spearman Technology Building. The event concluded with a mentorship meeting between United professionals and TSU students.
“This partnership is a game changer for our Aviation Science and Technology program,” said Director of Aviation Terence Fontaine. “United’s investment of financial resources and time through the mentorship component will enable more TSU students to walk out of here ready to contribute immediately to an industry in which people of color have been underrepresented.”
United’s Griffith, who is an HBCU graduate, feels that the new program, especially the mentorship component, will be a game changer for the aviation industry.
“(Aviation) is an exciting place, and it has room for folks from all kinds of backgrounds to get in and play a material role in making it better,” said Griffith. “It is helpful (for TSU students) to see living, breathing examples of aviation professionals, and to channel young people who have even the smallest interest in exploring aviation as a career path. What we’re doing here at TSU is another step in that direction.”
Jacorey Adams, a student in the program, said that he was thrilled that United is partnering with TSU. “They care for us and want to see us succeed. The mentorship provides us with leadership, encouragement and guidance.”
Five students are recipients of the United scholarship this year.