Our mission is to empower the next generation of aviation professionals around the world, regardless of age or background.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
The BlueJireh Foundation is a federally qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose aim is to open doors to higher learning through direct assistance programs for women, veterans and underserved communities.
How We Got Started
The BlueJireh Foundation was formed in 2019 as a corporate initiative of BlueJireh, a corporation providing flight training, operations support, maintenance services and training, logistics support and military sales. In recognizing the deficit of workers in the aviation industry, The Bluejireh Foundation was created to provide financial support, exposure and access to accredited eduation.
Our mission is to empower the next generation of aviation professionals around the world, regardless of age or background. We believe that a highly inclusive and immersive exposure to general aviation is one of the most efficient ways to create entrepreneurial, professional and scholarly outcomes in an extremely “in-demand” field. The BlueJireh Foundation provides access to women, veterans and underserved communities who otherwise would not have the financial means to fulfill their educational goals in aviation.
Randall & Crystal Cottrell
As entrepreneurs and parents of five children, Randall and Crystal Cottrell knew that they wanted to establish a nonprofit in order to serve others. The BlueJireh Foundation was created with one idea in mind—to give underprivileged individuals a chance to learn about aviation and aerospace careers in order to meet a growing demand for workforce in the industry. An initiative of BlueJireh, a business focused on aviation flight and maintenance training, systems and part obsolescence, engineering and serving U.S. and foreign military coordination and logistics.
When they aren’t brainstorming new ideas or homeschooling their kids, the family can be found at multiple sporting events or playing a friendly competitive game of UNO at home.
Although her roots run deep in West Virginia, Sephra Faulknier has spent the last decade calling Alabama home. A graduate of Marshall University, Sephra earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in organizational/industrial psychology. She is a lifelong member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and is a current board member of their local alumni chapter. Sephra’s career path has taken some interesting directions over the years. She first taught psychology at her alma mater and developed a training program dealing with sexual assault and relationship violence for all freshman students. Then for 15 years, she worked in medical device sales, where she excelled and became third in the nation for sales.
Once the family moved to Alabama, Sephra switched careers, teaching preschool and becoming a regular school volunteer. She and her husband Brian have two children: Laken is a competitive soccer player and in high school band while 5th grader, Lainey, is a Level 5 gymnast and spends 15 hours a week in the gym.
Meeting Randall Cottrell randomly on the pickle ball court of the area YMCA turned out to be a serendipitous encounter. Once Sephra learned that Randall was looking for a director for The Bluejireh Foundation, she knew it was the job for her. “Being able to create community awareness about aviation fields and the opportunity of workforce development is just part of this job,” she explains. “The more I talk to people about their aviation stories, the more inspiring I find them, and I can’t wait to share that with others."
As Director of the Foundation, Sephra’s role is to develop programs that will educate and inspire children of all ages to pursue careers in aviation. “Research from Boeing shows that in 20 years we will need 2.2 million workforce positions, from pilots to flight attendants, from ground crew to airplane mechanics,” she explains. “We want children to find out about these career opportunities sooner in life and break down barriers to entry so we can proactively work on filling these future shortages.”