Southwest Airlines is dedicated to making a difference in the community and works tirelessly to build strong, mutually beneficial, strategic relationships. By fostering these true partnerships, Southwest Airlines proves its commitment to the Latino community which has historically faced many barriers with regards to education, health and economic opportunities. Cultural traditions do not encourage women toward educational or professional advancement and MANA de San Diego is working to change that.

Their mission is to empower Latinas through education, leadership development, community service and advocacy. Southwest Airlines is proud to provide the means for Latina professionals to travel to conferences that will develop their leadership skills. The key to their success has been the sisterhood that provides support and encouragement for all Latinas of all ages, at all levels of their careers.

The prevalence and impact of local Latino and Latina leaders make up an important part of the fabric that makes San Diego unique. However, Latinas can face significant barriers to success like access to educational and professional resources. Fortunately, one organization is helping to continue and build the legacy of Latina leadership, MANA de San Diego. The non-profit is a national Latina organization that is dedicated to developing, nurturing and empowering Latina leaders through education, leadership development, advocacy and community service. Mana de San Diego works with women of nearly all ages, from middle school to those who are already professionals, to help them lead change in the community.

Another organization leading the change in San Diego is Southwest Airlines, including their support of MANA de San Diego. Through their Community Affairs and Grassroots team, Southwest Airlines has been vital in facilitating their Hermanitas program by donating airline tickets for 20 girls and their chaperones. This generous donation allows high school juniors to travel to National Hermanitas Leadership Institute, a conference usually held in Washington DC or Miami. At these conferences, these young women are able to get real-world experiences and learn from influential leaders. In many cases, this is their first time flying and is a life-changing opportunity they carry with them for the rest of their careers.

Southwest Airlines has also been involved in MANA de San Diego is through their support of the Brindis Gala. The annual event, which is an important fundraising opportunity, relies on community partnerships like that of Southwest Airlines. At this year’s event, themed Latina Legends, Honorary co-chairs City of Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas and Southwest Airlines Executive Lidia S. Martinez joined in honoring founding MANA members and past national chairs. Together, Southwest Airlines and Mana de San Diego are helping to create opportunities for these young women that are invaluable to our community.