Since 1997, Southwest®’s Adopt-A-Pilot Program has inspired thousands of fifth-grade students to explore careers in aviation through fun, STEM-centered activities and experiments. This program connects Southwest Pilots with classrooms across the country to provide mentorship and engage students in aviation-related lessons to spark an interest in aviation careers.
Welcome to Adopt-A-Pilot
Each school year, students in more than 1,500 classrooms across the country will “adopt” Southwest’s Pilots, giving our passionate aviators opportunities to mentor students in and around the fifth-grade level. As part of the Adopt-A-Pilot Program, students will also research careers and further develop life skills, while the importance of staying in school is reinforced along with the importance of life values. Southwest is pleased to offer these opportunities at no cost to participating schools.
It's very gratifying to build the children’s confidence to believe in themselves, choose their goals, and have the tenacity to achieve their dreams. At the same time, I emphasize being kind, grateful, and honest. Real-world experience helps spark their math, science, and geography from a rote level to a correlation level of learning.
I love giving back; through listening and engaging with the children and I often gain more from them!
- Nancy Martin-Belitz, Southwest Airlines Pilot and Adopt-A-Pilot Ambassador
The 2022-2023 school year marked the 25th anniversary of Adopt-A-Pilot! Since our award-winning program first launched, Southwest Pilots have visited thousands of classrooms around the country, teaching an aviation-themed curriculum and impacting the lives of more than half a million students.
How to Participate
Thank you for your interest in the Adopt-A-Pilot Program! Registration is available October 1 through December 31 of the current school year. Teachers may submit a request to participate in Adopt-A-Pilot using the link below.Teacher Registration
Please note: We do our best to match Pilots with interested schools. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that we will have an available Pilot in your community. If we cannot provide a Pilot, please feel free to use the curriculum and resources available to engage your students in STEM-centered activities and fun aviation-related lessons and videos.
If you have questions, please email the Adopt-a-Pilot Crew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking forward to another great year!
Curriculum & Educational Resources
Adopt-A-Pilot in the classroom
This video introduces the Adopt-A-Pilot Program, helps Pilots connect with the students, and provides an overview of what students will learn.
Watch the video.
Supplement our Adopt-A-Pilot curriculum by exploring these additional resources and organizations!
- Women in Aviation
- Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP)
- Professional Asian Pilots Association (PAPA)
- Southwest K-12 Resources - Learn about the various careers at Southwest Airlines.
- Destination 225° - Learn about the various pathways to become a Southwest Airlines Pilot.
- Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) - A great site if you want to become a pilot.
Need more info?
Check out our Adopt-A-Pilot FAQs.
The Southwest Airlines One Report
Explore our annual corporate social responsibility report, the Southwest Airlines One Report. This integrated citizenship report covers significant social, economic, and environmental stories, as well as data tables, and reporting frameworks, all through the lens of corporate Citizenship. Our disclosures are informed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).