Talk about making an impact. The Duke Energy Foundation stepped up in a big way to support two projects close to home: the Charlotte Engineering Early College High School and the Women in Computing Initiative.
First, here’s what the Charlotte Engineering Early College (CEEC) is and why it’s such an asset. Created in partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, it’s a high school with a STEM focus (science, technology, engineering and math) and a special emphasis on energy. Yet unlike other high schools, the early college allows students to receive their high school diploma and up to two years of college credit by going through grade 13.
As part of the gift, CEEC will receive $900,000 to support the Duke Energy Summer Bridge Program, the Duke Energy STEM Summer Research Experience and the Duke Energy STEM Scholarship.
Current estimates show only 26 percent of our nation’s IT professionals are women – and this can have a direct effect on the nation’s economic future. Future U.S. graduates with bachelor’s degrees in computing will fill only 40 percent of the country's projected tech jobs, so gender diversity is a key factor to the growing tech talent.
UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics’ (CCI) Women in Computing Initiative aims to tackle this challenge. Women represent half of the almost 29,000 students at the University. The Women in Computing Initiative is designed to tap into this vast talent pool by attracting more freshmen and undeclared women at the University to choose CCI majors and help them successfully graduate.
Through the Duke Energy Foundation gift, the Women in Computing Initiative will receive $750,000 to support the Duke Energy STARS (Students and Technology in Academia, Research and Service) Leadership Corps Scholarship. This supports female computing majors participating in a multi-year program exposing them to the broad applicability of computing through civic engagement and service learning.
Including this latest commitment, Duke Energy’s total giving to UNC Charlotte now exceeds $20 million.
"I cannot express how important it is for initiatives like the Charlotte Engineering Early College and Women in Computing to benefit from the support of partners such as Duke Energy," said Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. "These cutting-edge programs enhance the value of the University in the greater Charlotte community, as well as the state and the entire country."
(Pictured from left to right: Duke Energy's Lloyd Yates, CEEC students Jasim Rios and Britney Rich, CEEC instructor Deanna Cureton and CEEC pricipal Will Leach)
“Investing in STEM programs at UNC Charlotte creates a solid foundation for the economic vitality of the entire state,” said Lloyd Yates, Duke Energy’s executive vice president of customer and delivery operations and president of the Carolinas Region. “Duke Energy is building a smarter energy future for the state, and that requires a diverse group of engineers and computer scientists, like the students supported by these programs, to help us lead the way.”