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AAPI: Honoring Diverse Histories and Cultures

The SkyWest team is the best in the industry thanks to our people and the various skills and strengths we bring to work every day. As we continue to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, read what Captain Lauren A. and Mera B. have to say about their experience at SkyWest and how they share their culture with those around them.

Captain Lauren A. – CRJ Captain DFW
Captain Lauren A.’s journey with SkyWest Airlines began as a college student, non-revving between Phoenix and Honolulu thanks to her father, a Delta Air Lines mechanic. Inspired by how happy our crews always were, Lauren set her sights on becoming a pilot with SkyWest. Proudly of Hawaiian, Japanese, Filipino, and English descent, Lauren embraces her diverse heritage and loves the unity that defines our company culture.

“Every flight feels like a reunion,” says Captain Lauren A., recalling her encounters with fellow Polynesians and Asians. “No matter where we go, we always find the island connections. The Aloha spirit lives on in all of us.”

Beyond the flightdeck, Captain Lauren A. celebrates her family culture by sharing traditions, customs, and favorite meals with her crews, hoping to share her sense of belonging and appreciation.


Mera B. – Parts Clerk OKC
Mera says that Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a deeply personal and prideful experience. Born in Oahu and hailing from the Marshall Islands, Mera finds solace in wearing handmade Marshallese accessories and supporting local island businesses, even while residing far from her homeland.

“As the saying goes, ‘You can take the girl from the Island, but you can’t take the Island from the girl,'” Mera said. “I am proud to be a Marshallese, I am proud to be an Island girl!”

Grateful for the inclusive environment fostered at SkyWest Airlines, Mera emphasizes the importance of celebrating AAPI month as a means of honoring diverse histories and cultures.

“In our family, we are builders, war survivors, songwriters, and missionaries,” said Mera. “But the common thread is our commitment to preserving our land and heritage.”

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing SkyWest moms and those inspiring mothers who fuel our aviation dreams! This includes the moms highlighted below who have shared their love for aviation and encouraged their kids to join the SkyWest team.

Susan C. & Stacey J.

Susan and her daughter, Stacey, share a love of flying and adventure. Their passion and desire to follow their dreams eventually brought these two DEN-based flight attendants to SkyWest.

Susan got started at SkyWest in 2006 and says it opened the door to the world for her. She continually told Stacey that she should consider a career in the skies too.

In 2022, Stacey decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and join SkyWest Airlines as a flight attendant. Inspired by her mother’s career and driven by her own passion for travel, Stacey eagerly embraced the opportunity to take to the skies.

“My mom had me young, and we are 16 years apart,” said Stacey. “I admire my mom, her spirit, her sense of adventure, and her charming authentic ability to connect with every person she comes into contact with.”

Coincidentally, Susan and Stacey both became SkyWest flight attendants at the age of 52 and both graduated from their initial training classes in the month of October – 16 years apart. Their synchronized paths have deepened their bond as mother and daughter.

“I was honored to be able to attend my daughter’s SkyWest flight attendant graduation and pin her wings on her,” said Susan. “A year and a half later here we are finally working our first trip together. Flying with my daughter by my side was a dream come true.”

Their recent first work trip together was a special moment, symbolizing their shared dream and strength of their close bond.

“To see her wearing the same uniform, with the same passion for service, was a moment I’ll cherish forever,” said Susan. “We can’t wait to fly together again. I am one proud mama!”

Robin and Captain Colten M.

Fresno-based flight attendant Robin came to SkyWest in 2014. The new career was not only a great opportunity for her, but it also reignited the childhood dream of her son, Captain Colten M., to become an airline pilot. “All Colten ever wanted to do was become an airline pilot,” Robin said. “But throughout the years, we were told over and over that the qualifications were out of reach. So, we’d put it to the side.” Once Robin met other SkyWest pilots and learned what it takes to meet the requirements, she immediately got in touch with Colten.

“I was confused by how young the pilots were,” said Robin. “I finished up training, headed home, and said “Let’s reevaluate!”

Captain Colten M. had been in school to get a degree in forestry when he stopped everything and immediately jumped into flight school, knowing he had to make the switch. Even before being hired, he had already forged numerous connections with the Fresno-based crewmembers and felt like a part of the SkyWest family before even taking his first official commercial flight. This sense of belonging and camaraderie further fueled his determination to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot with SkyWest.

“My mom and I have always been very close,” said Captain Colten M.. “I can’t say for sure where I’d be or what career I would’ve gone with, but I’m a Captain here at SkyWest because my mom paved the path. She had my back the entire way and was my first passenger as a private pilot. Now I pretend to be in charge while we work together here at SkyWest.”

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SkyWest Celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and at SkyWest we take pride in the rich diversity of our team and the various backgrounds and cultures of our people.

Lika F. – Coordinator Crew Admin, HDQ

Lika, a coordinator crew admin at HDQ, doesn’t limit celebrating her culture to just the month of May; she embraces every opportunity to share what her heritage means to her and how it influences her life and career at SkyWest.

“Recognizing AAPI Heritage Month is important to me because it acknowledges the significant achievements, contributions, and impact of Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals and communities in history, culture, and society,” Lika explains.

As a member of the Pacific Islander community, specifically from the island of Samoa, Lika sees this month as a beautiful reminder to preserve cultural memory and to take pride in her identity. One key aspect of her heritage being her family and their history as farmers on the island, a connection of land and people that she describes as, “deeply rooted in the Samoan people.”

“The land is a source of life,” Lika said. “My family spends a lot of time outdoors together maintaining our cacao, plantain, and taro plantations. Once harvesting season comes, we prepare the crops to be taken to the farmers market for sale. We are planters and farmers. This is who we are, and it’s a part of who I am.”

So, how does Lika celebrate her culture? For her, it’s all about family and community.

“There’s no better way to celebrate than being surrounded by family at a cookout,” she says. “Traditional Siva or dancing is always the highlight of any Samoan cultural celebration. Whether it’s the art of dance and storytelling, listening to cultural music, learning and speaking the native language, or wearing traditional garments, there are many ways to celebrate our culture.”

The desire to be surrounded by a positive culture and community was an important part of Lika’s journey to SkyWest.

“I came to SkyWest after hearing a lot of positive feedback about the culture and leadership,” Lika says. “Along with its prestigious reputation, SkyWest also presented endless opportunities for professional growth and development.”

Captain Johnny C. – ERJ Captain, ORD

Captain Johnny C.’s journey with SkyWest began long before he became an airline pilot. As an exchange student during his first visit to the United States, his initial flight to his host family was operated by SkyWest.

“I quickly noticed the immense presence this airline had in the country,” Captain Johnny C. recalled. “I knew then that SkyWest would offer me a diverse range of flying experiences, unlike any other.”

This month, Captain Johnny C. has been reflecting on his journey from Taiwan to the Midwest and the significant importance of AAPI recognition.

“Understanding and embracing our differences allows us to break out of our shells,” he said. “Even though we are far from our home countries, this helps us feel closer to our heritage. This month, we can truly live, laugh, and smile as we celebrate our cultural differences through food, clothing, and various activities.”

For Captain Johnny C., the most unique aspect of his culture back home is the variety of street food that he misses celebrating. He also misses seeing others wearing traditional clothes, as it was a way to show pride in their ancestors and tribes.

“I’m grateful to be a part of this month’s celebration of AAPI,” said Captain Johnny C. “Our cultures are like a massive melting pot. Although we may look different, we share many similarities and view each other as family. That’s what it’s all about – the support we give our brothers and sisters to succeed in this industry, where we make up only a fraction of it.”

Throughout the month, we will feature updates from employees across the operation sharing their thoughts about what AAPI Month means to them and how their culture and background have shaped their experience at SkyWest.

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National Siblings Day: Brothers and Pilots

The choice to become a pilot is a monumental decision and it comes in many shapes and sizes. For some, it starts as a childhood dream and, for others, it comes from their adventurous spirit and desire to see the world. First Officer Colton S.’s decision came thanks to the example of his brother and has led him to a fulfilling and invigorating career.

Colton’s brother, Captain Cody S., joined the SkyWest team in 2001. As Captain Cody was transitioning from the E175 to the CRJ in 2019, his simulator instructor, Captain Adam M., encouraged him to share the experience with his friends and family. This gesture not only gave Colton a chance to learn more about what it is really like to fly an aircraft but led to his decision to pursue a career in the skies.

“[Cody sharing his experience] was the moment that really changed everything for me,” Colton said. “It was really eye-opening and helped me understand why my brother enjoyed his career so much. I left [the conversation] with the realization that I was not enjoying what I did for a living and that someday I wanted to become an airline pilot for SkyWest, whatever it took to get there.”

“I feel for Colton it was a life-changing experience when he realized this is something he could do, and it could provide a stable career for him and his wife’s future,” Captain Adam M. said.

Shortly after, Colton enrolled in flight school at ATP in Ogden, quit his job, and surprised his brother Cody with the news a few days before class began by wearing his new school’s apparel. Colton enjoyed his time as a student at ATP, earning his CFI, CFII, and MEI. While building his hours, he became a flight instructor, then a lead flight instructor at ATP, and joined the SkyWest Pilot Pathway Program. 

“I was a SkyWest cadet, and it was truly the only airline that I had considered or looked into, so I am fortunate to have made it here,” Colton said.

Colton has since graduated from flight school and is currently a SLC-based first officer.

“This has truly been a full-circle journey from the start of my aviation pursuit to where I am today,” Colton shared. “I want to thank Captain Adam M., my simulator instructor, for playing such a big role in a major life-changing decision, and I hope to fly with him someday! Also, I want to thank my brother Cody for all of his support throughout my aviation journey so far and for being a great example to me. We are both looking forward to flying together in the near future!”

Thank you, Captain Adam M. and Captain Cody S., for sharing your love for aviation. Welcome to the SkyWest family, Colton!

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I Always Love Having an All-Female Crew

SkyWest operates nearly 2,000 flights every day. In just the last few months, several of these flights have been operated by an all-female flight crew. While the overall flight itself may be ordinary, check out what our people had to say about these flights.

ERJ Captain Claire F. and Flight Attendant Toni M. were part of an all-female crew that had the chance to meet SkyWest, President and CEO Chip Childs.

“I always love when we have an all-female crew,” Captain Claire F. said. “It’s always a LOT of fun!”

All-female crews provide a great opportunity for customers to see that the aviation industry is for everyone, no matter your gender.

“If you can see her, you really can be her,” Captain Claire F. added.

For Toni, being a part of an all-female crew is always heart-warming.

“Not only are SkyWest flight attendants and pilots among the best in the aviation industry but whenever I work with an all-female crew, I have an increased sense of pride that our company values diversity, equity and inclusion,” Toni said. “And our passengers benefit from our collective expertise when they fly with us.”


Lisa H., a Chicago-based flight attendant is proud of all the women that represent SkyWest and aviation in general. She was also extremely honored of be a part of an all-female crew.

“This does not happen very often and on the occasion that it does, it feels quite amazing,” she said.

Lisa described Women’s History Month as a chance “to show young girls to set their goals high and to be able to see women who have achieved their dreams.”


First Officer Kalley G. and Flight Attendant Debra A. said they were especially excited when they learned they were part of an all-female crew on International Women’s Day. Debra described it as “PURE JOY,” and described the passenger’s joyful shock when they realized the unique situation. Many even asked to take pictures with the crew.

“I’m so proud to be part of SkyWest,” Debra said.

“It is incredibly amazing to be a part of an all-female crew,” Kalley said. “We did receive a lot of recognition and I truly think that an all-female crew is so important. Years back when I was a child, I really did not know that women could be an airline pilot. Having an all-female crew shows others that their hopes and dreams are achievable and limitless… The industry is a great workplace for women and there is plenty more room for those future aviators! The advice I would give to women who are interested in joining the industry is that you can do both: be a woman and be a pilot. You do not have to change who you are to fit in. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and commitment but enjoy the journey because it is so worth it!”


Flight Attendant Favi M. and CRJ First Officer Alex Aragon H. experienced their first all-female flight together enroute from Sacramento (SMF) to San Francisco (SFO).

“In my six years of aviation I have never flown with another woman, let alone an entire female flight crew,” Alex said. “The flight itself was ordinary but meant much more to myself and my coworkers.”

“I think this picture dictates the beauty of how far we can strive in our careers here at SkyWest,” Favi explains. “I am definitely a proud employee and proud to be a part of such an amazing organization.”


In January, Captain Kimberly P., First Officer Rachel M., and Flight Attendants Christina H. and Traci N. safely brought passengers to Durango, Colorado (DRO), Phoenix (PHX), and Eugene, Oregon (EUG) where they were grounded due to an ice storm. Despite the setback, these remarkable women maintained their spirits, even lending a hand to the hotel staff in cleaning up the restaurant area.

For Rachel, being a part of an all-female crew was empowering and she is hopeful to see more people getting involved in groups like the Ninety Nines or Women in Aviation.

Captain Kimberly P. shared that flying with an all-female crew provides a “different type of camaraderie” and a relaxed but upbeat atmosphere.

“Don’t doubt yourself because you’re a woman,” Captain Kimberly P. encourages. “I find that some of the most dedicated pilots I’ve flown with are females, and there’s nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it!”


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Women in Aviation Who Have Led the Way

Today is International Women’s Day. The story of women in aviation is one of courage, perseverance, and boundless ambition. From the earliest aviators who broke barriers to the modern-day pioneers who continue to push the boundaries of possibility, women have made groundbreaking contributions at SkyWest and across the aviation industry.

Learn more about some of their impressive journeys:

First Female SkyWest Captain: Captain Mary C.

Captain Mary C. joined SkyWest in 1985 and dedicated 32 years of service to SkyWest.

She began her SkyWest journey during the SkyWest/SunAire merger after being rejected at other companies strictly because she was female.

“There were corporate jobs, and you knew you were being turned down because you were a female. They could actually tell you that back then,” said Captain Mary C.

First Female SkyWest Chief Pilot: Captain Laura G.

For Captain Laura G., joining the SkyWest team almost 19 years ago was the easiest decision she made, drawn by the culture of happiness and kindness she observed in crewmembers.

“To summarize my career at SkyWest in one word would be: gratitude,” Captain Laura G. said. “I have had someone at each of step of my career at SkyWest listening, encouraging, and giving me ideas how to navigate the storms and challenges we all face.”

Captain Laura highlighted the importance of perseverance and support in facing the challenges of juggling a personal life and a career in aviation. Her most trusted values are teamwork and mentorship.

Captain Laura G.’s advice to others: “Reach out to mentors, fellow aviators, chief pilots, aviation representatives, and network when you face a storm that could impact your career. Our paths around storms may look different, but the end goals of gorgeous smooth skies after best achieved when we are not alone.”

First SkyWest Flight Attendant: Randi H.

In 1986, Randi was hired as the first SkyWest flight attendant and was part of the first training class consisting of 25 flight attendants.

First Female SkyWest Mechanic: Bobbi S.

Bobbi was hired as one of the first female mechanics at SkyWest Airlines, her journey began nearly 35 years ago. She is currently based in Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC) and is a lead inspector in maintenance.

First Female Pilot: Harriet Quimby
Harriet Quimby was the first licensed female pilot in America. Her inspiration came from a visit to an air show at Belmont Park in October 1910. She took flying lessons at the Moisant School of Aviation in Hempstead, Long Island before earning her pilot’s license on Aug. 1, 1911. 

First Flight Attendant: Ellen Church
In 1930, Ellen Church became the first female flight attendant, known then as a stewardess. Originally a nurse, Ellen convinced Steve Stimpson, a Boeing Air Transport traffic manager, that the presence of women nurses would help relieve the traveling public’s fear of flying. Previously, it was the co-pilot’s job to look after the passengers.

First Female Aircraft Mechanic: Phoebe Omlie
Phoebe Omlie was the first female recipient of an Airplane Mechanic’s License in 1927. She was also the first woman to receive a Transport Pilot’s License and the first woman government official in aviation, appointed by President Roosevelt as the special assistant for air intelligence of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (the predecessor of NASA).

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Black History Month: Living My Lifelong Dream

Throughout the month we’ve heard incredible stories from SkyWest people about their journeys to aviation and how their culture has influenced their careers. Before Black History Month ends, we want to highlight the experience of MSP-based First Officer Ryan B., an aviation pioneer for his family and community.

Ryan B. – First Officer CRJ

CRJ First Officer Ryan is proud to be a Black aviator and even prouder to be the first in his family to achieve this milestone.

“Being an airline pilot is something that I wanted to do since I was a kid,” said Ryan. “I did not think it would be possible for a person like me to achieve their dream. It took me sitting in an accounting class and watching planes fly into the Chicago O’Hare Airport to make the switch.”

Realizing he couldn’t continue doing something he didn’t love, Ryan took a chance on his aviation dreams. His pilot journey began in 2017 at Purdue University; continued through instructing in White Plains, New York; and finally obtaining his Airline Transport Pilot license in Salt Lake City, Utah. He joined the SkyWest team in 2021, accomplishing his childhood dream of becoming an airline pilot.

“SkyWest has given me the opportunity to live my lifelong dream,” said Ryan. “Some of the best moments for me here at SkyWest are when a passenger or a ramp worker tells me how happy they are to see someone like them in the flight deck. Not only does it inspire them to achieve greatness, but it inspires me to work harder towards my goal of being a Captain at one of our major airlines.”

For Ryan, Black History Month means taking advantage of all the opportunities life presents and making something spectacular with it. He credits the unwavering support of his family, friends, and colleagues at SkyWest, without whom his achievements wouldn’t have been possible.

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Throughout the month, we’ve also celebrated the remarkable achievements of individuals like Maintenance Admin Mike M. and Flight Attendant Myah D., whose unwavering resolve exemplifies the boundless potential within us all.

Additionally, we highlighted First Officer Kamia B. and Flight Attendant TK S., whose diverse backgrounds and personal journeys fuel their dedication to community service and volunteerism.

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Black History Month: Community Contributors

In honor of Black History Month, we asked several SkyWest team members to share their unique stories and tell us why this month is so important to them.

Kamia B. – First Officer, DEN

Joining the SkyWest team was a deliberate choice for First Officer Kamia B. She was drawn by our reputation as a top regional carrier, and she had her sights set on a SkyWest career from the beginning of her pilot journey.

“Everyone has always spoken so highly of SkyWest,” said Kamia. “Knowing it is the best is why I’m here. Since joining, I’ve had the privilege to meet and fly with flight instructors that used to teach at the same flight school that I received my training at, and it’s created so many opportunities for me.”

For Kamia, Black History Month means recognizing and understanding the importance of representation, especially in the context of aviation. With only 100 Black women serving as airline pilots nationwide, she believes this is a great time to highlight a career choice that many people deem unattainable.

“I get so many young women asking me how to become a pilot who didn’t realize that they could pursue this profession,” said Kamia. “You can inspire someone to do anything by highlighting the achievements of people who look like them.”

Kamia actively celebrates her culture by volunteering and mentoring aspiring pilots, particularly those who share her heritage. Recently, she participated in the Sisters of the Skies conference, an empowering gathering of Black women commercial pilots. Kamia has also been recognized as the 2024 Amelia Earhart Pioneering Achievement Award recipient.

Overcoming the odds to achieve her dream, Kamia sets out to inspire others and now strives to educate and inspire future generations.

TK S. – Flight Attendant, LAX

Almost seven years ago, TK S. began her SkyWest journey as a Detroit-based flight attendant. A career decision that she says has become one of her purpose-driven passions, and a place where she’s been able to accomplish her personal motto: live to give.

“Soon, I’ll have been with SkyWest for seven years,” said TK. “I still love it as much as I did when I started because of all the amazing memories I’ve made, and experiences I’ve had.”

One of her most cherished memories occurred within a few months of successfully completing her new hire training, on an overnight trip in Boston, Massachusetts. Accompanied by a fellow flight attendant, they visited Harvard for a grounds visit, where they stumbled upon an auditorium with a sign announcing a speech by author and Professor of Law, Angela Davis. Professor Davis had been the woman TK admired the most while growing up as a young girl in the 70s.

“I’ll never forget meeting her as long as I live,” said TK. “She was a trailblazer who stood up for what was right and fought tirelessly for the rights of Black Americans. We not only had the privilege of meeting with Angela Davis but also her sister, who invited us to stay for dinner with their team. Because of my flight attendant career, I was able to meet my childhood hero at 48 years old, that’s what I call Black History in the making!”

No stranger to trailblazing acts, TK’s commitment to serving others extends beyond her profession, as she’s made it a point to volunteer at orphanages during her vacations and organize toy drives for the less fortunate. As a former Food Network 2014 Chopped finalist, organizations also ask TK to use her culinary talents to benefit underprivileged children and raise awareness to great causes. Her dream is to coordinate annual trips for flight attendants to places like Tanzania, where they can volunteer and help local communities.

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February is Black History Month

This Black History Month, SkyWest is honored to recognize the Black men and women who help to make our airline the best in the industry.

Throughout February, we will be featuring stories and updates from our own SkyWest employees.

Mike M. – MX Admin, SBN

Mike began his SkyWest journey over four years ago. He came here from another airline where he had been working in aviation maintenance. Mike says he was initially nervous to begin a new career at a new company but had only heard great things about SkyWest.

“I’ve been in aviation for a little over eight years now and SkyWest has been the place I’ve enjoyed the most,” he said. “It’s the welcoming atmosphere towards all people of cultures and backgrounds that makes it different from other jobs. SkyWest has been very welcoming from the beginning and my time here has been filled with great memories and some of the kindest people I’ve met.”

Thinking about Black History Month, Mike says he is inspired by Ruby Ridges. She is an American civil rights activist who was the first Black child to attend a formerly segregated elementary school in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis on Nov. 14, 1960.

“Black history month for me is a time to reflect on how far we’ve come as a society,” he said. “Ruby’s experience has shown me that if we can learn to embrace our differences, regardless of the noise around us, the sky can truly be the limit on what can be achieved.”

Myah D. – Flight Attendant, PHX

For Myah, Black History Month is a celebration of Black culture and an opportunity to for everyone to learn more about Black History. It’s also a chance to recognize the remarkable journey of the Black community.

Growing up as one of the few Black students in her school, Myah struggled with self-consciousness, always feeling the need to prove herself. This struggle persisted even after completing school, and until she decided to break away from her work-from-home routine.

“I felt like there was more, so I started job hunting,” she said. “My search led me to apply as a cabin agent/cleaner for Alaska Airlines. It was in this job, that I was introduced to the world of aviation: gate agents, ground personnel, and flight attendants.”

A newcomer to aviation, Myah grew up with a fear of flying. Mostly due to her limited experience of flying, her perception slowly shifted during her shifts, witnessing professional flight attendants she interacted with. Despite initial reservations about her suitability for the job, the sight of Black flight attendants and pilots inspired her to apply. Walking into the SkyWest group interview, she felt a sense of belonging.

“Watching flight crews and getting to interact with them made me realize that becoming a flight attendant was my dream,” she said. “I was nervous about how young I was and if I was experienced enough in the industry. When I saw Black crewmembers, I felt so much pride and knew that I needed to apply.”

Contrary to her earlier assumptions, the airline industry, particularly SkyWest, proved to be more diverse than Myah anticipated. While the journey wasn’t without challenges, she is grateful she has been able to secure her dream job of becoming a flight attendant.

“I am so proud to be a SkyWest flight attendant, and I hope anyone who thinks that their dreams are out of reach will one day just go for it like I did,” she said.

Myah encourages everyone to pursue their aspirations, emphasizing that representation matters. This month in particular, Myah wishes everyone a joyful celebration, hopeful for a future where dreams are within reach for all.

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SkyWest Celebrates #NationalComplimentDay

Today is #NationalComplimentDay and we want to celebrate the amazing work that SkyWest people do each day! From emails, phone calls, notes and letters, people love to compliment our incredible team.

Here are just a few examples:

Cheyenne, Wyoming (CYS)

A supervisor with United Airlines’ Airport Operations team acknowledged the exceptional performance of Scott H., Cheyenne, Wyoming (CYS) cross utilized agent, for his “AMAZING” care and handling of military luggage. On one flight, Scott helped organize and manage more than 70 military bags within the limited storage space of a CRJ200 aircraft.

John Heath, the United ramp service employee, said, “I have never seen anyone stack like that with that many military bags in that plane.”

Eagle, Colorado (EGE)

I have been meaning to reach out and tell you how grateful I am to the crews that travel into EGE. Both flight deck and flight attendants. They have been unbelievably supportive to my ground teams on even the most challenging days. Please remind them any chance you get how much we appreciate our EGE inflight teams. They are the best and we recognize it!

Palm Springs, California (PSP)

Hi SkyWest, My name is Patty and I have been a flight attendant with American Airlines for over 39 years. I was recently traveling on a SkyWest flight from Phoenix, Arizona (PHX) to Grand Junction, Colorado (GJT) and had a great experience with your crew. Your flight attendants, Susann R. and Russell K., were beyond exceptional! Not only did they greet my husband and I with smiling faces, but they made us feel so welcomed. They provided top-notch service and treated every passenger as if they knew them for years. This type of service is above and beyond!

South Bend, Indiana (SBN)

Solomon is a wonderful asset to SkyWest! He was right there at the gate ready to board and to assist with our maintenance issues. Solomon was kind and reassuring. He took charge and listened to our captain & flight attendants and promised to look at everything. He was just a joyful, solid gentleman.

Every day our amazing SkyWest teams are providing exceptional service to thousands of passengers on 2,000. If you’re ready to join our team, click here to see the open positions that are available right now.

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Native American Heritage Month: Embracing Heritage and Culture

SkyWest is home to incredible people. This includes First Officer Emmalee G., and Flight Attendants Nicolette S. and Valerie S. who each shared their thoughts about Native American Heritage Month and how their background and experience has been a part of their careers at SkyWest.

Nicolette S. – SLC Flight Attendant

For Nicolette, becoming a flight attendant meant taking a chance on a career that was totally unknown to her. She joined the SkyWest team as the first class of 2017, an experience that she calls transformative.

“I can’t imagine leaving the aviation industry,” said Nicolette. “It’s allowed me to explore many opportunities. I only wish I had gotten my foot in the door a lot sooner, as I’m so grateful to work for a company that recognizes diversity and community.”

In celebrating Native American Heritage Month, Nicolette emphasizes the importance of acknowledging the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, success, and contemporary representation of Indigenous People. She is also very happy to be in a position of strong connections to her roots, highlighting her pride in working for a company that recognizes diversity.

Nicolette considers it an honor to represent the Dine’ (Navajo) spirit while flying. She aims to make her community proud by raising awareness about topics close to her heart and strives to contribute to increasing opportunities in the aviation industry for Indigenous People.

“I’m blessed for all the love and support from family and friends,” said Nicolette. “It’s an honor to spread the Dine’ spirit while flying.”

Looking ahead, Nicolette looks forward to returning to Dine’tah (Navajo Nation) to spend time with her family and friends. Engaging in family activities like cooking, beading, and winter storytelling by a warm fire are things she finds grounding and that hep connect her to her identity and aspirations, both in the air and on the ground.

Emmalee G. – DTW First Officer

Four years ago, Emmalee was motivated by her brother – a fellow SkyWest pilot – into transitioning from flight instructing to apply as a SkyWest pilot. It’s a decision she considers among the best in her life. Flying alongside her brother and sharing the flight deck with other Native Americans “has added a unique dimension to her aviation experience.”

In recognizing Native American/Alaska Native Legacies this month, Emmalee believes it’s very important to share with others the historical impact of these communities.

“It’s important to recognize these present-day heroes,” said Emmalee. “Native Americans/Alaska Natives have a rich history of contributing positively, and breaking barriers. We are here, proudly representing our cultures throughout the world.”

Learning about her heritage and culture through books and conversations with family members, Emmalee is excited to become a mouthpiece of her history and looks forward to following her family’s footsteps. Her mother, in particular, crafts Kuspuks (similar to hoodies) for family members, a talent she said inspired her to learn Iñupiaq, a native language fluently spoken by only about 2,000 people. Despite the initial challenges of learning due to limited resources, Emmalee finds joy in finding new learning tools, and credits the guidance of a family friend from Nome, Alaska.

For Emmalee, this month is all about learning. Learning more about her ancestors and about her native language becomes a meaningful way to celebrate and connect with her heritage and culture.


Valerie S. – DEN Flight Attendant

A proud member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibway Tribe on the Cass Lake Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota, Valerie’s heritage reflects a blend of an Ojibway mother and a Norwegian father. She got her start at SkyWest thanks to a friend, Jill Roundy, a SkyWest flight attendant, who encouraged her to attend a group interview.

“When I realized Skywest is contracted to fly into the Bemidji Regional Airport (BJI), which is only 16 miles West from Cass Lake, I was excited,” Valerie said. “I could now visit my family more often, and I could also give them the opportunity to travel the world.”

Drawn by the proximity to BJI, she accepted the job offer and began training. For her initial five months at SkyWest, she was based in Minneapolis, Minnesota but a transfer back to Salt Lake City, Utah came a month before the passing of her father. Grateful for the moments and memories her employment with SkyWest provided during this challenging time, she cherishes the ability to spend those precious last moments with her father.

For Valerie, this month is a great reminder of what her heritage has done for her life. Her tribe’s support played a crucial role in her earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. As a Social Worker, she dedicated her time to giving back, focusing on services tailored for Native Americans, including mental health counseling for LDS Social Services.

Beyond academic pursuits, Valerie represented her tribe in athletics, qualifying for the First Women’s Olympic Trials in 1984 and the 1988 Olympic Trials. Her tribe’s support, demonstrated through a “Blanket Dance” at a local Pow Wow, helped fund her participation in these events. Valerie’s achievements include winning the Salt Lake City Deseret News Marathon three times, securing second place at the St. George Marathon, and induction into the St George Marathon’s Road of Fame.

Throughout her career with SkyWest, she has cherished four-day trips that allowed overnight stays, offering precious moments to visit family. Her travel privileges also allowed her to attend a surprise birthday party for her mother and to be together with all her siblings for the first time ever. It became a cherished memory, especially since one of her sisters passed away not long after.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities SkyWest has provided me to travel the world and visit my family,” Valerie said. “I’m thankful for my Native American heritage, and I will continue to live to make my tribe proud of me.”

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Giving Tuesday: SkyWest People Leading by Example

SkyWest people are known for providing reliable air service to millions of passengers every month, but our work often goes beyond the airports we work in. Throughout 2023, SkyWest people have regularly gone above and beyond to give back in the communities where we live and work.

In honor of #GivingTuesday, here are a few examples of how SkyWest teams are having a positive impact:

Southern Utah Food Bank
This week, several dozen SkyWest employees volunteered at the Utah Food Bank’s Southern Distribution Center. There they organized and packed over 2,000 pounds of food to help those in need living in Utah’s six southernmost counties: Beaver, Iron, Washington, Garfield, Kane and San Juan. Through the Distribution Center, 46 local pantries and other partner organizations in Southern Utah are receiving products more directly and frequently from Utah Food Bank.

Across the state, employees are also helping to fight hunger by contributing to SkyWest’s virtual food drive. This year we are hoping to raise $4,000. Every dollar donated will become $8.36 toward food and necessities for Utahns in need, allowing us to strengthen our positive impact.

Special Olympics Plane Pulls
Teams of SkyWest employees in Colorado Springs and Chicago “pulled” out all the stops to help support the Special Olympics Colorado and Special Olympics Illinois at two different plane pulls. Both organizations exceeded their fundraising goals and can continue providing year-round sports, competitions, health screenings, and leadership opportunities to nearly 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Spirit of SkyWest
The SOS: Our People in Action program is unique in supporting the causes and groups that our employees are most passionate about. Just this year, more than 30 employees have participated in a non-profit event. In each case, SkyWest donates to the charity on behalf of the employees involved. This includes events to raise awareness for tuberous sclerosis complex research, accessible healthcare for communities in Texas, and the Special Olympics plane pulls.

American Red Cross 
The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Together, SkyWest people have donated more than $10,300 this year alone to help those affected by natural disasters and other humanitarian crises.

SkyWest Supports On Board with Autism
Nearly 30 kids and their families boarded a SkyWest aircraft in Erie, Pennsylvania (ERI). Unlike a typical flight, though, the plane never left the ground because the flight was part of On Board with Autism, an event organized by the Autism Society Northwestern Pennsylvania. Read how airport officials and SkyWest crew assisted in creating a positive and memorable experience for all involved.

Thank you to all of our people for the many ways you contribute to make your communities and our world a better place! We encourage you to keep finding ways to give back, no matter how small. Together, we can continue to make a positive impact.

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Native American Heritage Month: Culture and Tradition

Native American Heritage Month, observed every November in the United States, is a time to honor and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and contributions of Native Americans. This month-long commemoration serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the history, struggles, and triumphs of Indigenous peoples in the Americas.

Here is what a few of our people had to say about how their cultural background shapes their everyday lives.

Faye C. – HDQ Crew Scheduler
“Halito (hello)!” said Faye, a member of the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma.

Faye joined SkyWest in 2022 in search of a new career opportunity and new friends. Now more than a year later, she knows it was meant to be, she loves the career she’s in, and her colleagues are considered family.

“The thing that keeps me at SkyWest is my Crew Support team,” she said. “I have the honor and privilege of working with people who respect me and my culture.”

For Faye, her heritage is integral to how she lives her life. She loves to celebrate Native American Heritage Month because of her tribes’ rich history of resilience, unique experiences, and historical importance.

“The Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma was one of the tribes that were forced to walk the trail of tears and were displaced from their ancestral homes,” she said. “So, for me, Native American Heritage Month is about retaining that history, remembering our stories, and keeping them alive. This is important to pass on to future generations.”

Faye’s favorite parts of her culture are passing on traditions through oral history, bead work, music, powwows, traditional dances, and food!”

“I celebrate my culture by keeping our traditional stories alive,” Faye said. “This is something that’s done every day, not only this month. I’ll continue to honor it by strengthening my knowledge in the traditional language of the Choctaw people. yakoke! Chi pisa la chike (Thank you, until we meet again)!”

Patrick M. – OKC Mechanic III
For SkyWest Mechanic Patrick, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, celebrating Native American Heritage Month means that everyone can explore the history and culture of different groups. It’s also important to him that people take time celebrate and recognize their own background and culture too.

“This is an opportunity for all of us to come together,” he said. “For those of us celebrating and for others to gain a valuable point of reflection. Being a Native American isn’t a constant point of our conversations, but I know that I’m valued by my team, and I respect that.”

Celebrating his culture is very important for Patrick. He celebrates this month by attending a multi-day gathering that is hosted by tribe leaders, for every tribal member across the country to meet. There, tribe members enjoy crafts, and learn more about their language, food, and ceremonies that would otherwise go neglected the rest of the year.

Patrick joined the SkyWest team on encouragement from his instructors in A&P school. He reviewed his career options and knew that he needed to join the team. “I looked at my options and I saw my options for quality of life; pay, training opportunities, and ability to advance,” he said. “SkyWest beat the other local options.”

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Honoring Our SkyWest Veterans

Veterans Day is a time to honor the brave individuals who have devoted themselves to serving America. It’s a chance to recognize their sacrifices, dedication, and their unwavering commitment to our country. Among the countless heroes who have selflessly served are many SkyWest people. 

Command Master Chief Neal J.

Neal, a Scottsbluff (BFF) cross utilized agent, served in the U.S. Navy for 32 years. When enlisting in 1982, he was aiming for a career in aviation, but vision constraints led him to serve 20 years on submarines.

“I became a sonar technician, which I call an air traffic controller under the water,” Neal said.

In the ‘80s, he completed a tour in Japan, was deployed in the Philippines where he met his eventual wife, Minda, and then spent 12 years in Hawaii. Neal did tours in Kings Bay, Georgia; Bremerton, Washington; San Diego and Ridgecrest, California; Fallon, Nevada; El Paso, Texas; and Patuxent River, Maryland.

One assignment on the U.S.S. Maine was to do deterrent patrolling.

“We make sure that our enemies — Russia, China, all of them — know that we’re out there and we’ve got 24 ballistic missiles with 10 warheads pointed at them if they decide to do anything,” Neal said. “We always said if we ever actually had to launch, we failed our mission. We didn’t ever want to launch.”

Although they launched a test missile, his subs never launched a ballistic missile for war. His longest submarine deployment lasted 124 days underwater in the western Pacific.

“The best way to summarize a submarine is that you would have weeks of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror, especially if you actually had a real accident or real casualty,” he said.

Over the years, Neal worked his way up the ranks to the Chief of Boat (COB) and a trainer for sonar staff. With 20 years under his belt, Neal was selected to join the Command Master Chief program, releasing him from submarines to switch to aviation.

“Once I got my eyes corrected, they let me go flying. I joined the Navy to be in aviation, and I got there, it just took me 20 years to do it in a roundabout way.”

Neal spent his last 12 years in senior leadership positions in aviation commands. After a family emergency scare, he decided to retire as a Command Master Chief in 2014 and moved to Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

“It was a job, and a job I loved,” Neal said. 

When SkyWest began operations at BFF, Neal jumped on the opportunity to work in the commercial aviation industry and now works as a cross utilized agent.

Infantry Soldier Josh M.

Josh, a cross utilized agent in Prescott, Arizona (PRC), joined the U.S. Army Infantry in 2007. He was stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska and served one combat tour in the Diyala province of Iraq, serving as a grenadier and radio telephone operator (RTO). His bravery and dedication were recognized with the Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal.

In 2010, Josh used the G.I. Bill, a program created to help finance school or training for American military veterans, to become an English teacher. After eight years in public education, he transitioned to aviation.

Josh is currently utilizing the Vocational Readiness and Employment program from Veteran Affairs to complete his master’s degree in aviation safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He joined SkyWest in July.

“Upon finishing my degree, I would love to advance my career with SkyWest and serve in a safety role,” he said.

As we observe Veterans Day, we extend our deepest gratitude to Neal, Josh and all of our SkyWest Veterans for their sacrifice, resilience, and unwavering commitment to the United States and the many freedoms we enjoy.

Thank you for your service and happy Veterans Day.

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Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month and SkyWest is proud to recognize our people and their varied backgrounds and cultures. Watch for stories throughout the month featuring some of our people, including Penny M., parts manager in South Bend, who is part of the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina, and DEN-based First Officer Maria M. who is part of the Leach Lake band of Ojibwe tribe in Minnesota.

Penny M. – SBN Parts Manager

For SkyWest Parts Manager Penny, being Native American is something that she is proud of and holds close to her heart. She is a member of the Lumbee tribe, made up of tribal nations from the Algonquian, Iroquoian, and Siouan language families, including the Hatteras, the Tuscarora, and the Cheraw. Recognized as Indian in 1885 by the State of North Carolina, the Lumbee continue working to educate others about their right to be federally recognized, a movement that Penny holds dear to her heart.

Growing up in Michigan and far from her tribe in North Carolina, Penny credits her father for the knowledge and appreciation she has for her heritage and culture.

“I have a lot of pride in my heritage,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in learning more about my culture since I was 11 years old, and my dad instilled in me a love of where I came from and who my tribe was. Just ask my family, I’m the go-to person for tribal information and family history.”

Before coming to SkyWest, Penny worked as a JCPenney corporate manager for 20 years. There she gained experience working with teams and helping showcase the value of recognizing diversity and fairness. In 2022, a family member convinced Penny to take a break from retirement and join the SkyWest team where she has seen how our diversity has helped us be successful.

“I’m grateful that SkyWest gives us opportunities to share our stories with each other,” she said. “It shows that we can have different backgrounds and share with each other the best parts of ourselves. I think this is why my team has been so great to work with and for me to lead. We all understand each other and have learned from each other’s stories.”

Penny is devoted to sharing her heritage with her family members too. She’s been able to fly with her grandchildren to attend powwows and cultural celebrations along the Lumbee River in North Carolina, where her tribe originated. She also visits local tribe festivals where she can connect with other Native Americans and learn more about their history.

Penny’s favorite part of this month, “Recognizing each other!”

“My native heritage has helped me immensely in my career and has brought my family closer,” said Penny. “I love being able to share that with others and to learn more from their stories. Not only does this recognition help us become more aware as humankind but it’s a freedom that we can all learn from.”

Maria M. – DEN First Officer

Denver-based CRJ First Officer Maria has always wanted to become an airline pilot. As she was training and flying with mentors, she learned about SkyWest and knew the airline is exactly what she was looking for. 

“What really piqued my interest was the culture of SkyWest that I had always heard about,” she said. “Whether it was the Pilot Pathway Program, an interview, or at my instructing job, people would mention SkyWest. They convinced me it was the best learning and working environment out there.”

Maria joined the SkyWest Pilot Pathway Program in 2021 and she recently completed her first flight as a first officer.

“Once I got to my first day of training, I knew I had made the right choice,” she said. “Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful and I’m happy I made the decision to continue my career with SkyWest.”

Maria is proud to be celebrating her Native American heritage throughout the month and is excited for others to recognize and connect with her great culture. She is a member of the Leach Lake band of Ojibwe tribe in Minnesota, a tribe known for their preservation of heritage.

“It is important to recognize Native American Heritage Month because it makes people feel more comfortable and welcome, especially in their workplace,” she said. “Being able to share my story is so encouraging and ensures that representation for the culture and community stays alive.”

Maintaining her connection to her heritage is very important for Maria. She celebrates her culture by spending time with family, sharing experiences, and attending various traditional events. Maria’s advice for those wanting to recognize this month is to support indigenous artists!

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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

For Hispanic Heritage month we’ve heard incredible stories from SkyWest people about their diverse journeys to aviation and how their culture has influenced their careers. As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, we have several more stories to share:

James B. Sr. and James B. – Cross Utilized Supervisors, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 

For the Benitez family, celebrating their culture is an everyday occasion and they’re very proud to be a part of the growing Mexican American community in Scottsbluff, Nebraska (BFF). They’re also very proud to be a part of the SkyWest team as “SkyWest’s BFF pioneers.”

“My family is very tight knit, and we can celebrate anything,” said James Jr. “I think because we’re the only Benitez family in the area, my mom and sister are insistent in getting our family together as much as possible. In the Mexican culture, family is everything. Family pushes us to do better. They’re who supports most and it’s who you learn all the important lessons from. Family is everything to us and I love that part of my Mexican culture!”

James’s dad, James Sr., had recently retired from 30 years of service at the post office when he heard about a new airline that would be flying at his local airport. He jumped at a chance for another career and was among the first SkyWest employees in BFF. James Sr. loved his job so much that he convinced his son to join the team only five months later.

“It’s fun to work with my dad,” said James Jr. “Before SkyWest I was a social worker and part-time substitute teacher at my local schools. I wasn’t the happiest and I jumped to apply when my dad called me. We’ve both been here for over five years and we both love our team. I’m also grateful for the opportunities to travel with my dad and attend the NFL, MLB, and college games that we enjoy.”

Captain Jesse B., First Officer Julieta V., Flight Attendant Yessenia A., and Flight Attendant Carla N.

Recently, a Houston-based all-Hispanic crew operated a local trip together for the first time. This experience provided them with an opportunity to reflect on their unique journeys within aviation and the similarities their personal stories share. Here is what a few of them had to share:

Captain Jesse B. – El Salvador

For Captain Jesse B., flying with an all-Hispanic crew was something he didn’t think too much about when he began his aviation career. However, the recent experience he had is one he will never forget.

“I was surprised but excited,” Captain B. said. “It was great to see all of us together and it felt rewarding to be a part of a community who supports each other when we see each other doing well, it makes me proud! Houston may seem small, but we are filled with people of rich cultures and I’m happy to be a part of that.”

Captain B. was also glad to see a crewmember he had flown with before and who was from his home country.

“I’ve flown with Yessenia before and I am always excited because we are both from El Salvador,” said Captain B. “When we first met I was surprised that I knew exactly which town she was from and that I’ve visited it before. I like knowing that even though we’re almost 2,000 miles away from El Salvador that because of our jobs we can still connect and share our stories.”

First Officer Julieta V. – Colombia

“It was a lot of fun to work with this crew and the only thing that made me sad was the fact that it was a local trip,” said Julieta. “It excited me to see so many different countries represented in our crew. That was my favorite part, seeing our different cultures represented and showing others that it’s possible to be a Latino, or Hispanic or whatever, and succeed in your job.”

Becoming a pilot involved a lot of hard work and Julieta credits the lessons she was taught as kid growing up in Colombia. For Julieta, her culture strengthened her to stop at nothing until she had accomplished her dreams of being a pilot.

Flight Attendant Yessenia A.– El Salvador

“The world of aviation is what united us,” said Yessenia. “After our introductions and seeing how we work together, I was filled with so much pride to be on this trip. I loved seeing the diversity within SkyWest come together and it was a full circle moment for me.”

Yessenia began her SkyWest career over 12 years ago and says it’s a “lifelong dream come true.” Growing up in a small town in El Salvador, she would recreate what she thought was happening on the handful of flights that flew over her town. Yessenia wanted to travel the world as a flight attendant. She knew that with hard work and sacrifice her dream would one day come true.

For Yessenia, SkyWest is exactly what she was looking for. She loves her job and enjoys meeting the diverse crewmembers she interacts with. She uses her travel privileges to visit El Salvador and takes her son to show him where she was raised. Her parents are also very proud of her career and still support her dreams of traveling the world.

“My parents sacrificed a lot for us to move to the U.S.,” said Yessenia. “Because of them I got my opportunity to follow my dream. I drove six hours to attend my SkyWest interview, and I got a speeding ticket because I didn’t want to miss my chance. It was stressful and fun, but I got the job!”

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Cancer Awareness: Hope and Support

Whether you are a survivor, advocate, community organizer or co-survivor, cancer affects all of us. Throughout October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month we will be sharing the stories of SkyWest people and their battles against cancer in its various forms.

Flight Attendant Jaime R. and Captain Ricky M. have both faced the challenge of a cancer diagnosis and are still fighting the ongoing battles of treatment and recovery. Their unique journeys serve as powerful examples of how resilience and unwavering determination have enabled them to conquer adversities.

Jaime R. – DEN Flight Attendant

After years of preventive care, regular exams at home and with her doctor, and no familial history of cancer, Jaime was surprised when she was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) earlier this year. At age 46 she began her new life of tests, never ending appointments, and what seemed like endless treatments.

“I always thought because I was doing the right things, I don’t smoke, I eat clean, only glassware for drinks, regular exercise, and natural deodorant, that I would prevent cancer,” she said. “I did several at-home checks and with my doctor and felt confident of being cancer free. The only way that the cancer was detected was through a mammogram, a free test that can be done for anyone. Something that I found too uncomfortable and had put off.”

After a pathology report determined that Jaime had four tumors, the largest at 15mm, and large amounts of Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), her doctors gave her the options to begin her battle against cancer. She underwent a seven-hour bi-lateral double mastectomy with a direct implant reconstruction. Her weekly chemo sessions begin this weekend for the aggressive cancer, and an additional year of infusion treatments to come.

“I found out that I’ve had this cancer inside of me for a long time,” she said. “I still have a small amount DCIS they couldn’t get, and I’m hopeful the chemo gets it.”

For Jaime, prioritizing herself and well-being has become more important since her diagnosis.

“Many of us think we’re too busy and that our work schedules, children, and homes are a priority over our own,” she said. “We barely make time for ourselves, and our self-care is in the back seat. I was no different. Between three kids and two jobs, I neglected myself. Do not wait on self-care, it matters.”

For anyone with questions about breast cancer, Jaime offers this advice, “Get a mammogram by 35 for a good baseline. A FREE yearly screening is all it took and could have made all the difference for me. You matter, your life matters. Make yourself a priority!”

Captain Ricky M. – LAX ERJ Captain

For Captain Ricky M., the month of October is more than his battle with cancer but a great time to reflect on what others are going through.

 “This month makes me appreciate all the great things I’ve experienced in my life and the dark times I survived.,” he said.

As a kid, Captain M. had always wanted to be a pilot. When he was 18 years old, he signed up at his nearest flight school and worked hard to become an airline pilot. In 2003 he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent multiple surgeries, treatments, and reconstruction surgeries. He started chemo the next year, and only two months later joined the SkyWest team.

“I’ve learned the greatest lessons since my diagnosis,” said Captain M. “I’m living my dream, and nothing can stop that. No one can tell me that I can’t do what I love, which is flying airplanes for the best company. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years, and I’ve still got a long way to go! Having cancer didn’t stop my dream and I don’t see it stopping me anytime soon.”

Captain M. has since flown the EMB, CRJ, and E175. He’s held several positions throughout his almost 20 years at SkyWest as a Captain on various aircraft and a line check airman. He’s also seen a lot of support from coworkers throughout his battle, including those who have supported him through the SkyWest’s internal employee programs.

His advice for those battling cancer: “People will be hesitant to tell you the truth about cancer, ask them to be brutally honest. Having cancer is the scariest thing that you’ll go through, please hold tight to your loved ones, and rely on the systems of support that you have. Finally, do not watch crime movies or dark TV shows, the best medicine is slapstick comedy and cartoons, trust me.”

Screening tests can also help find cancer early, significantly increasing the survival rate of those diagnosed with cancer. Ensure you and your loved ones are having regular screenings. One excellent option is to use United Healthcare’s preventive care checklist tool to see what exams you might expect at your next checkup.

SkyWest supports the fight against cancer and knowing you’re not alone is an important way we can support each other.

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Sharing our Culture

As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize the variety of backgrounds and cultures that make up the SkyWest team. Diana G., mechanic – IAH and Marisol C., AO training instructor shared their thoughts on the importance of this month and how their culture has influenced their careers. 

What brought you to SkyWest? 

Diana: I attended a recruitment event in Palm Springs (PSP) and was hired as a flight attendant. As a first-generation Mexican American, the world of aviation seemed so foreign to me, but I was somehow always drawn to it. As a flight attendant, I worked alongside crewmembers, gate agents, ramp agents, caterers, and cleaners. I felt very privileged to work with such a hard-working group of people and yet, it was always the aircraft maintenance technicians that captivated my attention the most.

My background as an automotive technician allowed me to work well with my hands and becoming an aircraft mechanic seemed like an obvious choice. I took advantage of SkyWest’s Professional Leave Program (PRO), and I went back to school to receive my Aircraft and Powerplant licenses. This month marks eight months as a certified aircraft mechanic for SkyWest.

Marisol: I was working for an engineering company when my father was diagnosed with cancer. After a family meeting about his diagnosis, and how we could best support our parents, my family and I decided that I would transition to a part-time position to assist in caring for my father. My search for a career with this type of flexibility lead me to SkyWest. I was hired as a part-time Cross Utilized agent in Harlingen, Texas (HRL).

While my father followed his treatment plan to beat cancer, I followed a new career path within aviation. I have held several roles in my time here and each one has connected me with amazing individuals. Their wisdom and allyship has supported me throughout my career and as I train new agents on their journey with SkyWest. To everyone who reads this, you can make your aviation dreams come true, “Echale ganas (give it all you got)!”  

Why is it important to recognize Hispanic Heritage month?

Diana: I am a very proud to be Mexican American, and I take pride in my culture. The rich history, the incredible music, the tasty and flavorful food, all of which makes me so grateful for my heritage. Growing up with Mexican parents who did not speak English, and immigrating to United States against all odds, they were able to teach my siblings and I the power of perseverance and hard work. To this day they are strong, independent entrepreneurs, yet always put family first. Together, we love celebrating the roots of our family and origin, especially during Hispanic Heritage Month!

Marisol: Opportunities to celebrate or embrace culture will always lead to meaningful connections! More importantly, it promotes respect, enhances communication, creates an opportunity to meet new people, and can create a safe environment for all races. As a Mexican American, I live in two worlds. It is not something I thought about until I joined the workforce. Especially when I’m speaking to colleagues or customers, and I transition between both worlds by speaking Spanish and English, it fills my heart. Everything reflects me as an individual. It reflects my family name. It reflects my community. No matter the challenge I repeat my mantra, “Echale ganas!”

How has your culture influenced your career?

Diana: Being a Mexican American woman I know I’m a minority, but that only pushes me to do better and work harder than most. Because of my cultural values, I’ve learned to do this and not complain about what’s necessary for my success. I know that facing these challenges have shaped me since I was young. This perseverance has allowed me to have a high motivation and drive to succeed in achieving my dreams. I dedicate myself to my career fully and proudly, thanks to what I’ve overcome as a Mexican American woman. 

Marisol: It’s been nothing but uplifted and embraced. Because of the diversity in my community and the work groups that surrounds me, my career at SkyWest has seen nothing but enrichment and support.

During my time with SkyWest, I’ve felt that my voice has always been heard and that my heritage and journey have never been stereotyped. The culture at SkyWest creates an environment that allows our voices and ideals to be heard, and embraces our cultural differences. My career has been enriched by SkyWest’s need to recognize us all individually, and they’ve done this by inviting those of different cultures to share their background and experiences in various ways, sharing their story with all of SkyWest.

SkyWest also offers resources for those that may not have been exposed to other cultures through the Diversity & Inclusion page on SkyWest Online. It offers videos to reinvent thoughts or assumptions someone may have. I applaud the pledge SkyWest has made to not allow ignorance to prevent our growth as a company.

How do you celebrate this month? 

Diana: This year I was married on Mexican Independence Day, Sept. 16, and was able to celebrate with my guests. Most of them were non-Hispanic and I wanted to share as much of my culture as I could with them. We stopped at nothing to highlight my culture and make new family feel most welcomed! We had a variety of Hispanic foods, colorful decorations with flowers, and classical Latin tunes including Cumbia, Merengue, Salsa, and Tango. An important part of my culture is dancing, and it’s one of the most important traditions in my family. It felt great to share that with everyone! 

Thank you, Diana and Marisol, for sharing your stories with us and helping us understand the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month. We are fortunate for the influence and difference you have made on our SkyWest team!