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NEWS STORY

Pratt & Whitney Employees Meet Music Superstar

Friday, February 3, 2017

It's important to promote educational initiatives around the world. Pratt & Whitney understands that, and so does musician Pitbull.

The Grammy-winning, bilingual artist shared his vision for sustained education at Palm Beach State College Foundation's STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) event this week, sponsored in part by Pratt & Whitney.

Several employees at Pratt & Whitney's West Palm Beach, Florida, facility had an opportunity to meet Pitbull and listen to him speak about how his upbringing led him to philanthropy.

"He had no reservations about sharing his childhood experiences living in the ghettos of Miami," said Lance Charles, mechanical design engineer, Hot Section Engineering. "As an adult, he sees the need for improvements in the quality of education across the country in often overlooked neighborhoods. Being raised in a family of first-generation immigrants (I myself am one), I never realized how much my own upbringing resembled his."

Evan Thompson, a design drafter at Pratt & Whitney, is a graduate of Palm Beach State College. Thompson shares Pitbull's passion for volunteerism and education.

"Volunteering is something that's important to get kids interested in career choices earlier in life," he said. "If you get them motivated early on, it's easier to get them to a point where they can be valuable to companies and are prepared for careers that don't even exist yet."

The idea is that anyone can make a difference in a child's life — whether they are an everyday person or a world-renowned superstar.

"He tries to get kids motivated earlier in life and interested in education," said Thompson. "One teacher changed the way he looked at life and his outlook on education, so he's trying to provide that same kind of inspiration for kids."

Pratt & Whitney has a longstanding relationship with Palm Beach State College in the West Palm Beach community, and is committed to inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals.