Courtesy the University of The District of Columbia
The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) has received a $2 million commitment from Pepco over the next three years as part of its Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Power Partnership “Investing in Tomorrow’s Talent Today.” The Pepco award is the largest corporate grant in UDC’s history.
The funding expands the partnership Pepco has forged with UDC and other HBCUs in the company’s Washington, DC and Maryland service areas. The grant funds will be managed through the UDC Foundation, the University’s charitable partner responsible for securing private funding and philanthropic support for student scholarships, faculty research and program initiatives.
“The University of the District of Columbia is leading the way in creating opportunities for students East of the Anacostia River,” said Ronald Mason Jr., UDC’s President. “Pepco’s partnership is vital to the University’s efforts to support future STEM leaders and our region.”
“We are proud to expand our partnership with UDC and provide support that will reduce barriers for students in the District and create opportunities for them to thrive as they prepare for future careers in energy and other STEM fields,” said Rodney Oddoye, senior vice president of Governmental, Regulatory and External Affairs at Pepco Holdings. “We are excited to see these programs grow and look forward to advancing more innovative and engaging opportunities for the communities we serve.”
Pepco’s grant to UDC will support the following two projects along with other related investments:
- Pepco Power Scholars Program: Pepco will fund five need and merit-based scholarships annually for the next three years. With the support of UDC, Pepco will select rising sophomores majoring in engineering, computer science, finance- and other related four-year program majors. The scholarships will include full tuition and housing for the scholars’ remaining three years at UDC. In addition, the Pepco Power Scholars will benefit from summer internships, career mentors, peer networking and additional preparation for full-time entry-level positions with Pepco.
- UDC’s Developing America’s Workforce Nucleus (DAWN) Initiative: UDC is on a mission to create a sustainable pipeline of domestic, diverse, business-ready STEM and entrepreneurship-ready talent, to propel America’s economic engine. DAWN seeks solutions to the nation’s and Pepco’s talent shortage by creating talent identification and refinement systems to cultivate and increase STEM-based talent from underrepresented populations. The increased funding and operational support from Pepco will help UDC fund projects and infrastructure investments throughout Anacostia High School and its feeder middle schools to enhance work-based learning and internship opportunities for students seeking careers in sustainable energy, environmental justice and agriculture technology.
Pepco will also underwrite select UDC sustainable energy investments and sponsor major UDC events. The investments also include support for the human resources needed to drive STEM programming and the programming itself. Beyond the financial awards, Pepco is also providing in-kind support, such as the installation of the electrical connections to a new greenhouse at Anacostia High School at no cost to District taxpayers. The overall goal of these investments is to create more awareness about STEM careers and expand the pool of future talent in which Pepco can recruit.
As the District’s only public and exclusively urban land grant and emerging research university, UDC focuses on helping its students and those in its PreK-12 pipeline realize their highest human potential. True to its land grant status, this focus includes helping students pursue careers in urban agriculture and sustainable energy. UDC aims to improve the quality of life of communities—particularly children, youth, and underserved and immigrant populations by ensuring students from Black, brown, and economically disenfranchised neighborhoods receive the tools they need to become stewards of their communities and obtain high-paying careers in the process.