PHOENIX, January 30, 2019 – The Arizona Technology Council today announced that its foundation, SciTech Institute, has been selected as a recipient of a portion of a $1 million Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) Charitable Grant, which focuses on building a stronger workforce for tomorrow. From more than 300 applications, the SciTech Institute was one of only 24 organizations across the United States to receive a generous grant for its efforts in promoting leadership, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and workforce development.

The Texas-based airline’s Southwest Airlines Foundation is supporting two dozen nonprofit organizations across the country that are strengthening their communities through K-12 STEM education, building a resilient workforce, and developing leadership.

“We are truly honored and humbled to be awarded such a generous grant from the Southwest Airlines Foundation,” said Dr. Jeremy Babendure, executive director, SciTech Institute. “Our goal is to inspire and engage students with STEM activities so they can see themselves in a STEM career.”

The Institute will utilize the $50,000 grant to support STEM programs and education that provide students with opportunities to make sense of the world holistically, as well as support and promote initiatives that attract, grow and retain world-class technology talent in Arizona.

“STEM touches every aspect of our lives, enables technological advances and drives innovation,” added Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Institute and the Council. “Our expectation is that the students we inspire today will be tomorrow’s innovators who create things we never imagined.”

A collaborative initiative with the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Arizona Technology Council, the Institute works as a guiding catalyst for organizations to bring STEM to communities. It encompasses some of the strongest STEM initiatives in Arizona, including the Arizona SciTech Festival, the Chief Science Officers Program, Arizona Middle School and High School Science Bowls, the Counting Bee, and Science for All.

“At Southwest, we believe in connecting people and championing communities,” said Bob Jordan, executive vice president of Corporate Services, Southwest Airlines. “As part of this commitment, Southwest is investing in communities across the country by supporting innovative nonprofits that are building resilient workforces, inspiring leaders and enhancing STEM education. We want to champion their efforts and empower these communities to thrive.”

The Southwest Airlines Foundation is a corporate advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation®. To learn more about the grant programs, visit

About the Arizona Technology Council

The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, visionaries and community members to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit

Leave a Reply