Pasadena Chamber Connects Pasadena Unified High School Students with Hollywood Burbank Airport for Experiential Learning

Chamber facilitates PUSD students getting behind-the-scenes look at airport and airline operations, interactions with airport staff at all levels

Published : Monday, March 18, 2019 | 8:20 AM

Pasadena Unified School District high students were able to be part of the Hollywood Burbank Airport 2019 Airport Academy. The academy is a one day per month program from January through May. Students in the Airport Academy learn about and observe airport operations, the roles of the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration as well as various aspects of the airline industry. The program brings 24 students, eight each from Pasadena, Glendale and Burbank high schools, to the airport to meet learn about and meet with people involved in everything from airline operations to security and airplane maintenance.

Amy Foell, workforce development director for the Pasadena Chamber made the connection with Hollywood Burbank Airport through Pasadena Chamber Board member Nerissa Sugars, marketing communications and air service manager at the airport. Ms. Foell also recruited and prepared students from PUSD to participate and arranged for their transportation to the airport.

Eight students from the John Muir Early College Magnet High School Engineering and Environmental Science Academy and the Pasadena High School APP Academy with an interest in aviation careers are getting the opportunity to meet with engineers, air traffic controllers, pilots and TSA agents once a month through May. In addition to observing the complex operations of the airport and airlines, students gain an understanding of the full range of career opportunities an airport and airlines provide. In meeting with professionals at Hollywood Burbank Airport, students also learn the requirements, experience and education needed to fill those jobs.

Ian Carson, 10th grader at Pasadena High School said, “I chose to attend Airport Academy because I’ve been seriously interested in flight ever since third grade when I started making model airplanes. About three years ago I started flying remote controlled airplanes.”

“The Pasadena Chamber, working with PUSD schools, has been effective at identifying opportunities for students to observe, explore and experience the world of work through internships, job shadow opportunities and more,” said Ms. Foell. “The Hollywood Burbank Airport Academy is a great way for interested students to meet with professionals in all aspects of airport and airline operations and hear first-hand from working professionals about their careers.”

Supporting the APP Academy at Pasadena High School and the Engineering and Environmental Science Academy at John Muir High School in PUSD is one of many work-based learning initiatives undertaken by the Pasadena Chamber with our community partners. Those efforts include summer intern placements, job shadowing for high school students in other college and career academies, classroom speakers from the business community and mentoring. Those wanting to volunteer, host an intern, be a job shadow location or mentor a local student, can visit: and fill out the brief volunteer form.

The public can support the Chamber’s work-based learning and workforce development activities by donating to the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Any donation is 100% tax deductible and will go directly to supporting our work with students in our local public schools. To donate visit:

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association is a business service member organization that works to ensure the prosperity of its members through a variety of offerings including referrals, networking, workshops and seminars, events and much more. The Chamber serves 1450 member companies.

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation provides support for work-based learning and financial literacy programs to benefit young people and others seeking employment or professional advancement in our community. This work is done with and through the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association. We work with education, community, non-profit and business partners as we help provide career exploration and real-world experience for local students.

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