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*Alaska Airlines has donated one million frequent flier miles to its newest Charity Miles partner, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), to assist its effort to expand college access for African-American and other minority students.

“One of the big barriers for our students taking advantage of the opportunities we offer is that they may not have the means to travel. This partnership with Alaska Airlines will help remove that barrier for students who need it most,” said UNCF president and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax.

Alaska Airlines’ Charity Miles program offers Mileage Plan members a way to support important causes. Miles donated to this program help charities with business travel, accommodation of special organization requests and achievement of the organization’s mission.

Miles donated to UNCF will help students fly to college tours, travel back and forth between school and home, and participate in a variety of leadership development programs and other programming offered by the organization.

“UNCF does amazing work, and we’re thrilled to offer our Mileage Plan members the opportunity to help further this organization’s mission,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines CEO. “We chose UNCF because the work they do has a direct impact on underserved communities of color across the United States.”

Since the organization’s founding in 1944, UNCF efforts have helped to more than double the number of minorities attending college. Each year, the organization provides more than $100 million in scholarships to students, nearly half of whom are the first in their family to attend college.

“Our top focus is to increase the number of African American students who are entering college, staying in college and graduating college to then go on to meaningful and successful careers,”

This new relationship with UNCF represents the first expansion of the Charity Miles program in more than a decade, and is the airline’s first education-based charity included in the program.