“When I was a child, I remember traveling to the Taj Mahal with my family… The sights and beauty I saw there really opened my eyes,” recalled Endeavor Air flight attendant Juanita Bass. “It taught me that there was a whole other world out there.”
Throughout her life, Juanita has felt called to help show others the world around them. As a flight attendant, Juanita finds joy in serving customers as they soar to new destinations. And when she isn’t flying in the skies, her pursuits as an author, childcare provider and owner of a clothing line are grounded in her desire to give back and make an impact.
“I love the connection between Endeavor and what I do in the community; I feel immense support from my leaders as a whole individual, not just as an employee,” said Juanita, who has been with the company for 10 years. “We not only serve our customers on the plane, but we serve the people in our community.”
Last year, Juanita published her first children’s book, Together with Dad. The story highlights a father and son sharing experiences throughout the course of a week, introducing days of the week, numbers and social-emotional interactions. Juanita has been partnering with schools and pediatric clinics in the Detroit area as well as several airports to provide her books to underprivileged children.
“Reading is having the world at your fingertips, so my vision for my first book was that I wanted something that fully spoke to the importance of reading but was also fun and entertaining,” Juanita said. “The back of the book has a mini lesson plan. I believe it is very important to take the conversation from the book and use that to enhance their communication and learning skills.”
But Juanita’s work doesn’t stop there.
She began her Fueling Purpose clothing line to inspire individuals to engage in activities that ignite their lives with purpose. Juanita generously donates 5% of sales to the non-profit organization First Book, which has distributed more than 200 million books to programs and schools serving children from low-income communities in the U.S. and Canada.
“I also have a YouTube channel that features authors reading their own books to children,” added Juanita. “It’s another tool that kids can tune in and get exposed to listening and reading, as brain development from ages 0-5 is a crucial time for kids.”
As we celebrate Black History Month, Juanita says she is inspired by those who came before her who paved the way for her to fulfill her dreams and aspirations. That same inspiration drives her to pay it forward to the next generation.
“Having these opportunities as an African American is such a blessing; being able to promote the importance of education gives individuals a chance to grow and be inspired,” Juanita said. “I think about the Black educators and authors before my time, and that really drives my passion and purpose.”