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JetBlue and Sean Penn Fulfill Haitian Runner’s Dream to Run in NYC Marathon

JetBlue and Sean Penn Fulfill Haitian Runner’s Dream to Run in NYC Marathon

Tens of thousands of runners were accepted into the New York Marathon, but few have a story as impactful as Astrel Clovis, who was struggling to find a way to get to New York to race. This year, Clovis, invited to run his second New York City Marathon, was selected by Sean Penn to join his team, the J/P HRO team, led by coach and two-time Olympian, Alan Culpepper. Iconic teammates include actress Teri Hatcher, and partner of Helio Catroneves, Adriana Henao. In order to help get him to New York, JetBlue, New York’s Hometown Airline™, was notified by a crewmember who heard the story and wanted to help. Simultaneously, JetBlue was putting the finishing touches on its new initiative, Fly It Forward, which enabled Clovis’ dream to become a reality.


Fly It Forward is born out of JetBlue’s mission to inspire humanity.  It provides a platform that highlights and shares the airline’s mission and spotlights the stories and dreams that are often overlooked. By awarding one ticket to a deserving individual involved in humanitarian efforts, or making a meaningful impact on life, and enabling them to pass that ticket on to the next traveler of their choice, JetBlue is initiating a chain of goodness throughout the JetBlue network, one flight at a time.


Additional Details on Astrel:

JetBlue and our previous Fly It Forward traveler Luis supported Clovis’s mission to get to the New York Marathon where we’ll be documenting his journey that will eventually be displayed Clovis is a mechanic, a preacher, a musician and, of equal importance, a runner from Haiti (which, as a nation, has garnered most of its attention for the devastating earthquake that hit in 2010). Following the earthquake, Astrel’s six-day-a-week routine of running through Port-au-Prince stopped. The roads that were once his track had been littered with debris, dead bodies and overall destruction, not only structurally, but emotionally. It took three months for Clovis to get back to running, as he realized life needed to go on. As he committed to his goal of running in the New York Marathon, the country was slowly rebuilding and so was Clovis’s pace.  Preceding Clovis in his goal to run in the New York Marathon was our Fly It Forward flier Luis Elneus, who flew from New York to Haiti to support his own non-profit mission by opening the first public library in his hometown of La Gonave. Continuing the chain for goodness, Clovis will be next to offer up the Fly It Forward ticket to a deserving individual when he lands in New York.


Where has the ticket been traveling?

The stories you’ve watched in the video showcase the traveling ticket: from Chicago to New York, thanks to Tameka Lawson, who represented her city and her non-profit, I-Grow, at the United Nations conference; New York to Seattle with Teena Katz, who demonstrated her resilience by reaching new heights since bouncing back from a tragic accident on NYC’s 7 train; Seattle to New York, courtesy of aspiring  artist Peter Robinson, who pursued a passion and painted a mural, surrounded by his street artist idols; and New York to Haiti with non-profit founder Louis Elneus, who inspired education, literacy and the first public library in his home country. Consumers can get a closer look at their stories and follow the ticket as it travels across the JetBlue network, here:


About the Program:

Fly It Forward is a public manifestation of our mission to inspire humanity, a social movement powered by JetBlue and inspired by its crewmembers. One ticket travels on a continuous journey throughout the JetBlue network; passed along by fliers with impactful stories to tell. The program helps connect people with one another and enables people to fulfill a dream, a humanitarian effort or make a meaningful impact on the world. As the enabler, JetBlue is excited to help make these travelers’ dreams a reality. The Fly It Forward site will be the hub of all conversations and activity, documenting each flier’s story and encouraging consumers to submit theirs, using #FlyItForward.


How to participate:

  • Consider the story filters: fulfilling a dream, joining a humanitarian effort or making a meaningful impact on the world.  Visit the Fly it Forward site for more inspiration.
  • Have your own story to tell? Log on to Twitter or visit the Fly it Forward site and tweet us where you want to fly, and why, in 140 characters or less using #FlyItForward.
  • Know someone with a story?  Log on to Twitter or visit the Fly it Forward site and tweet us where they want to fly, and why, in 140 characters or less using #FlyItForward.

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