South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

FPL/NextEra Energy surprises students with some new tech as they head off to college

Read Time 2 Minutes

We are now in graduation season for our high school seniors and the Nuclear Division of Florida Power & Light/NextEra Energy is helping out some of them out by partnering with a local South Florida nonprofit called Path To College. FPL is making sure they are equipped with some new tech as they head off to college.

This past week during Path To College’s “Senior Success Send-Off” at the Boynton Beach City Hall, 30 seniors from underserved communities were given a special gift  – their own iPad!

For students like these, this extraordinary gift is a significant barrier removed. The simple tools and technology necessary that we often take for granted are necessary for leveling the playing field for so many others. Every single one of those 30 students is now off to college and has the tech to stay on top of their school work.

“It’s taking away a very real stress that they are not going to be able to afford an iPad or a computer that they are going to need to keep up,” says Path To College’s Founder and Executive Director, Christine Sylvain. “Plus, it’s a really cool gift!”

Path To College was founded in 2017 to “fearlessly clear the path for overlooked students to get into the best colleges” through higher SAT scores, creating a positive community, increased amount of applications to higher education institutions, and connected neighborhoods with a strong focus on education. And they are doing just that.

Graduates from the Path To College flagship program, a 3-year academic fellowship, have achieved the following successes:

  • 100% acceptance into 4-year universities
  • 75% accepted to top-tier institutions
  • 70% achieve full-ride scholarships

Christine and the students would like to thank the Nuclear Division of Florida Power & Light/NextEra Energy and to Dr. Ayodele Ishola-Salawu and Damon Hobson for making this fantastic contribution happen!

Want to see a video of the students immediate reaction? Watch below. It’s worth it!

 

By Nikki Cabus

FPL Pledges nearly $1 Million to Support Black Students in Tech with Degree Completion

Read Time 3 Minutes

Florida Power & Light (FPL) announced an $800,000 investment in scholarships for black students to facilitate the completion of baccalaureate degrees at Miami Dade College (MDC) in the technology field. The funds from FPL will be used to cover tuition, fees, books and transportation costs for eligible black students facing a financial need over the next 4 years. This support will allow students to focus on their education, accelerating completion and entry into the tech workforce in South Florida.

FPL has had a long standing relationship with MDC. “We recognize the value in the contemporary programs, degrees and curriculum that they have developed. In some cases, we’ve partnered with them to ensure that the students are getting skills that will enable them to be competitive in technology careers,” said Michael Fowler, VP of IT and Business Unit CIO for FPL and Co-Chair of the South Florida Tech Hub Board of Directors. “I’ve personally been impressed with the nimbleness of the college to stay ahead of the technology curve.”

“It is extremely satisfying to have partners such as FPL who are raising the bar of good corporate citizenship, investing in our students and, in turn, in our community,” said MDC President Madeline Pumariega. “We must be intentional and strategic in our efforts to bridge the opportunity divide. I am especially grateful with this initiative because it is in line with and expands many things we are already doing with our groundbreaking Rising Black Scholars Program, our MOSAIC Initiative, Data Science 4 All and others.”

Last year, NextEra Energy was again named to Forbes magazine’s list of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity. “We highly value diversity of thought, style, technical and functional abilities, and leadership. Our company identified specific actions our company could take to make transformational impact in race equity,” said Grace Kurian, Senior Director, Information Technology- Nuclear. “Our focus for Black Girls Code (BGC) falls in three main areas: 1) BGC alumni engagement to strengthen the pipeline of BGC alumni, 2) upscaling BGC curriculum for students 7-17 years old interested in robotics, coding, artificial intelligence, & data analysis, and 3) scholarship endowment funds to ensure current & future BGC students have scholarships to fund for college.”

According to research, low-income working college students are less likely than their higher-income peers to get good grades or obtain bachelor’s degrees. These working learners are disproportionately black. These grant funds from FPL will potentially enable students who work full-time or part-time to work fewer hours or to stop working to concentrate on their studies without the burden of financial distractions.

“At FPL, we believe in breaking down barriers to opportunity for underserved communities, and we are always looking for ways to help empower our next generation of leaders,” said Pamela Rauch, Vice President of External Affairs and Economic Development for FPL. “FPL has long supported Miami Dade College’s technology programs and students, and we are honored to be able to expand opportunities for eligible black students to help them build an even stronger foundation for in demand technology jobs.”

As part of the Black Students in Tech grant, the School of Engineering and Technology (EnTec) lead by Manny Perez, Dean of Engineering, Technology and Design, will lead the recruitment, selection and retention of 30 students per academic year on a pathway to baccalaureate degree programs such as in Information Systems Technology, Cybersecurity, or Data Analytics. Eligible students will begin qualifying for the grants this summer term. For more information and to apply to the scholarship visit here.

MDC and FPL will host an event with students accepted into the program this coming August and ahead of the fall term to provide an update on progress and celebrate student achievement.

 

FPL/NextEra Energy surprises students with some new tech as they head off to college
FPL Pledges nearly $1 Million to Support Black Students in Tech with Degree Completion