Eagle Suits Up to Spread Smiles

Worldwide student Steven Warmath uses his passion for pop culture to make a difference in the Orlando community and beyond.

Steven Warmath is an active member of the 501st Legion, a volunteer organization known for making character appearances around the globe. (Photo: Maddie Sundberg)
Steven Warmath is an active member of the 501st Legion, a volunteer organization known for making character appearances around the globe. (Photo: Maddie Sundberg)

A theme park and Star Wars enthusiast, Steven Warmath (’10, ’22) remembers first discovering the 501st Legion while attending an annual Star Wars Weekend at Disney.

It’s what inspired him to join the Florida Garrison, a local chapter of the international organization, in August of 2015.

Warmath, an experienced pilot of over 15 years, earned his B.S. in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle in 2010 and is currently a captain for JetBlue based out of Orlando International Airport.

When he’s not in the air, you can find him sporting his best costumes at charity events, hospitals, conventions and more around the community. The group never charges any fees but instead accepts donations to charity for special occasions like birthday parties and weddings.

“When we walk into a room, it doesn't matter if you're six or 60 – everyone becomes a kid again,” he said.

The most meaningful appearances for Warmath are those he makes at Nemours Children’s Hospital and Advent Health Hospital for Children in Orlando. He finds spreading joy to children and parents who are navigating tough times especially rewarding.

He also attends several solo events a year and has even pushed his costuming skills to incorporate Marvel, DC and Harry Potter characters.

“Seeing the look of pure joy and excitement on not just the child's face but their parents' as well is something I'll never tire of seeing,” Warmath said.

His passion for service extends to his day job, too. He often spends Thanksgiving and Christmas flying so others can stay home with family.

“The thing I love most about my job is how much fun it is to fly airplanes – it never gets old,” Warmath said. “Some days are easy and some are challenging, but I couldn't see myself working in any other industry.”

An interest in aviation management and a desire to expand his horizons recently drew Warmath to Embry-Riddle’s MBA in Aviation program.

On track to finish his final class in March, he looks forward to crossing the stage at the spring commencement ceremony in Daytona Beach – a first for Warmath.

Whether it’s transitioning to a management role with JetBlue or exploring opportunities in the airline’s training department, he is prepared for whatever the future may hold.

“ERAU is at the top of the game when it comes to aviation education, and I'm proud to be part of that community,” Warmath said. “Hopefully, I can give back where I can.”