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HAS Community Relations - Touching Children’s Lives


June 1, 2011

  © Houston Airport System
  The Houston Airport System's community relations team is in charge of educating area youths about potential careers in aviation.
There’s an unexplainable joy when children learn something new, especially when it comes to careers in aviation. Through a series of presentations and airport tours hosted by the community relations team of the Houston Airport System (HAS), students get a chance to explore exciting careers that can take them anywhere in the world.

“Community Relations is here to provide information regarding the Houston Airport System and its future vision," says Rhonda Arnold, HAS director of community relations. “Our mission is to promote and educate the community, through continued relationships, while sharing the vision and goals of the Houston Airport System. The future is in the hands of our youth and we continue to find ways to bring value to the community.”

Recently, members of the community relations team visited more than 300 students in the school districts of Aldine and Spring Branch. The team spoke with students at Hoffman Middle School, Housman Elementary and Escamilla Intermediate School.

They presented their math, science and English classes with lots of career choices to utilize their studies such as aerospace engineer, flight attendant, maintenance operator, marketing executive, and international relations.

“We all had such a fantastic time,” says Ann Starks, school counselor at Escamilla Intermediate School. “Teachers and students are still talking about it and are already wanting to know about next year.”

“Our objective is to inspire and encourage students to read, listen and learn,” says Mary McKnight, senior community relations liaison.

“I was so impressed when their eyes lit up, and their hands shot up,” says Darian Ward, HAS senior community relations associate. “They knew the first flight was in 1907 with Wilbur and Orville Wright, the world’s first licensed African American was Bessie Coleman in 1921 and Amelia Earhart’s crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1937 was almost too easy for them.“

Additionally, the Houston Airport System hosts tours at all three airports - George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), William P. Hobby (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD). A small group of children from the Heritage Home School recently visited Hobby Airport and Christina Moore, customer service representative, from Southwest Airlines assisted HAS in rolling out the red carpet.

Students had a chance to see behind the scenes of the daily operations of the airports, the airline and the activity on the runway in preparation for a plane’s landing and takeoff. It was a chance to see aviation careers in action. 
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