Girls Inc. to Partner with Berkshire Gas/AVANGRID for New STEM Careers Program for Girls
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – November 2, 2017 – The Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center and Berkshire Gas, an operating subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a diversified energy and utility company, jointly announced support of new programming for young women interested in STEM education and careers in Berkshire County.
Under the partnership agreement, The Avangrid Foundation will be providing a $25,000 challenge grant. The grant will be used to attract additional start-up support from interested corporate and private underwriters for this first-of-its-kind offering in Berkshire County known as “EUREKA!”
The pilot program is expected to begin January 2018 with a group of 20 girls. Girls Inc. continues to explore additional funding sources and will begin a local fundraising campaign shortly.
Berkshire Gas President Karen Zink noted, “We are thrilled to be investing in such a timely and important opportunity for young women in our region. It is exciting to be part of making a difference and contributing to the future of tomorrow’s young leaders and the local workforce.”
EUREKA! is a component of the Operation SMART program designed by the national Girls Inc. organization. Operation SMART uses a research-based curriculum to develop skills and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program incorporates hands-on activities and interactions with women and men pursuing STEM careers. Specifically, EUREKA! is a multi-year effort that begins with rising 8th graders and combines sports and personal development activities with an intensive experience on a college campus for four weeks each summer of the first and second years. Girls will regularly participate in educational and experiential activities related to what they learned over the summer throughout the school year. Girls will participate in paid internships in STEM related professions the third summer.
“Girls Inc. has been working for quite some time to bring the EUREKA! program to the Berkshires and we are thrilled that Avangrid Foundation has chosen to support the effort,” said Kelly Marion, CEO of the Brigham Center. “So often girls are given the message that they aren’t good in math and science. This program will give local girls exposure to STEM related activities to spark their curiosity, support their education and show them opportunities for their future.”
Girls Inc. plans to build on the success of the program over the first three years, to develop regular funding that will enable new groups to begin each year and extend the program to five years to support girls, as they explore future educational and career opportunities throughout high school. Marion also noted, “Ultimately, our goal is to begin new groups each year enabling up to 100 area girls to be a part of Girls Inc. EUREKA! annually.”
Girls Inc. is a core program of the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center. The Center serves children, youth and their families throughout the Berkshires providing school age enrichment programs, early childhood education, youth empowerment services, aquatics programs and summer camp at Camps Stevenson-Witawentin. Learn more at www.brighamcenter.org.
A History of Support
The Avangrid Foundation, Inc. is the principal philanthropic arm of AVANGRID, Inc. and its subsidiary companies, focusing on funding activities that promote environmental sustainability and improve the well-being of the communities served by our utility affiliates, which include NYSEG and RG&E (NY); Central Maine Power Company and Maine Natural Gas (Maine); United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas Company, and Connecticut Natural Gas (CT); and Berkshire Gas Company (MA). AVANGRID, Inc. is also the corporate parent of Avangrid Renewables, headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
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About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $40 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. AVANGRID employs more than 7,000 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021 and 2022 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2022, AVANGRID ranked second within the utility sector for its commitment to the environment and the communities it serves. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2022 for the fourth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.
About Iberdrola: Iberdrola is one of the world's biggest energy companies and a leader in renewables, spearheading the energy transition to a low carbon economy. The group supplies energy to almost 100 million people in dozens of countries. With a focus on renewable energy, smart networks and smart solutions for customers, Iberdrola’s main markets include Europe (Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Greece), the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The company is also present in growth markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, Sweden and Poland, among others.
With a workforce of nearly 40,000 and assets in excess of €141.7 billion, across the world, Iberdrola helps to support 400,000 jobs across its supply chain, with annual procurement of €12.2 billion. A benchmark in the fight against climate change, Iberdrola has invested more than €130 billion over the past two decades to help build a sustainable energy model, based on sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.