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Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 8:28 am | Fair 45º

 
 
 
 
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PG&E Donates $16,500 to Support Allan Hancock College’s STEM Program and Student Emergency Fund

Pacific Gas and Electric recently awarded a $16,500 donation to Allan Hancock College. The gift will support the college’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program, as well as the Student Emergency Fund.
Pacific Gas and Electric recently awarded a $16,500 donation to Allan Hancock College. The gift will support the college’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program, as well as the Student Emergency Fund. (AHC photo)

Efforts at Allan Hancock College to increase student interest in science-related fields, as well as to provide students with temporary financial assistance have received a boost from Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which has donated $16,500 to support the college’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program and Student Emergency Fund.

“The donation is an opportunity to give back and invest in our community,” said Pat Mullen, local PG&E region director. “We want to impact the lives of young students pursuing their college education.”

The college’s STEM program is part of a national initiative to prepare students for jobs in science, technology, engineering and math. The program focuses on community outreach events, provides students with internships and research opportunities and streamlines the transfer process to four-year universities.

PG&E was the primary sponsor of the college’s STEM Week of Discovery. The four-day program introduced area high school students to a variety of STEM majors through hands-on activities and presentations.

“PG&E has been a loyal supporter of the college’s STEM program,” said Siboney Guardado, STEM grant director. “With their donation, we were able to increase attendance in the last year by almost 50 percent. We also saw a rise in female students and first-generation college students, which are two of our target populations.”

Mullen said the utility company’s donation will diversify and strengthen the candidate pool for STEM-related jobs in the area, including positions at PG&E.

“We want to encourage students to explore the STEM fields,” said Mullen. “They need to know careers as engineers and scientists are possible. They can get on the path to those careers through education.”

The donation also supported the college’s Student Emergency Fund, which started this fall. The fund helps students, who are facing hardships related to an emergency, meet immediate and essential expense.

“Historically, students attending community colleges are forced to drop out because of a variety of insurmountable financial barriers,” said Hancock Associate Superintendent and Vice President of Student Services Nohemy Ornelas. “Whether it’s purchasing a textbook, paying a car repair bill or child care, this fund will help students who are experiencing an emergency stay in school and succeed.”

Ornelas, who oversees the fund, said students have already benefited from the fund.

“It is wonderful to be able to offer financial support to help keep our students in school during difficult times,” she said. “We appreciate the support of businesses like PG&E to make it possible.”

PG&E is also encouraging all of its employees to support education. The company has offered to match funds, up to $1,000, donated by employees to local schools.

“Colleges like Hancock are incredible assets to our communities,” added Mullen. “Our donation is a win-win-win for PG&E, Hancock and the community.”

For more information on Hancock’s STEM program, call 805.922.6966 x3557 or email [email protected].

To donate to the college’s Student Emergency Fund, please contact the Allan Hancock College Foundation at 805.925.2994 or email [email protected].

Gina Herlihy is a public affairs and publications technician for Allan Hancock College.

 

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