Duke Energy Florida awards $250,000 to organizations that empower students, educators, families during season of giving - The West Orange Chamber of Commerce
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Thu January 06, 2022

Duke Energy Florida awards $250,000 to organizations that empower students, educators, families during season of giving

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Duke Energy has awarded $250,000 in grants to support a wide range of education and community assistance initiatives across Florida.

This year’s grant recipients range from local education foundations to community assistance programs that address economic and quality of life issues for students and families, as well as diversity and access to educational and training opportunities.

“These programs are more important than ever, as many students and educators continue to face academic challenges and families across the state struggle to get by,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “Duke Energy Florida is proud to support the organizations that work tirelessly to eliminate barriers and create opportunities for all children, individuals and families to thrive and reach their full potential.”

Find, Feed & Restore, a program in Clermont that assists families with children and individuals with no-cost and affordable housing, received a grant to support its new expansion property, Restore Lake. The funds will help transform the inside of the building into six spaces for families to obtain self-sufficiency and continue Find, Feed & Restore’s mission to combat homelessness in the South Lake area.

“Through the generosity of Duke Energy, we are able to reduce the amount of families with children and individuals that go unsheltered in our community,” said Brian K. Broadway, Find, Feed & Restore founder. “This year’s grant allowed us to mobilize two additional housing units for homeless families with children and brought us closer to the completion of our newest property that will provide housing, financial literacy and job training to over 120 homeless individuals each year.”

Duke Energy Florida has also supported the Foundation for Seminole State College’s Workforce Recruitment Program, a unique program that allows students to receive their GED at the same time they receive their certification for HVAC or electrician to gain employment immediately in the workforce.

“Thanks to the support from our partnership with Duke Energy Florida, Seminole State College students are achieving their professional goals faster and helping to meet the employment needs of high-demand professions,” said Dr. John Gyllin, vice president of resource and economic development and executive director of the Foundation for Seminole State College. “Through this grant, we continue to provide opportunities for students to receive their GEDs and industry-based credentials at the same time, giving them a step up while supporting industries such as HVAC, electrical and plumbing.”

Duke Energy Florida is proud to provide grants to 20 organizations that make impactful contributions to the communities it serves.

Here is a complete list of the 2021 local grant recipients in Florida:

Tampa Bay area

Citrus County Education Foundation – $5,000. Hernando County Education Foundation – $5,000. Funds will support the foundations’ continued work throughout the pandemic, including but not limited to getting internet and/or computers into homes that didn’t have them, providing virtual learning tools, delivering meals throughout the week to families in need and providing schools with hand sanitizers, masks and more.

Greater Orlando area

A Gift For Teaching – $50,000. A Gift For Teaching will reach more students and teachers through its mobile supply store, Pencil Boy Express, so teachers can shop for classroom necessities.

AdventHealth Foundation in Sebring – $15,000. Funds will support AdventHealth’s new Wellness Center in Sebring. The facility is designed to care for the whole person, body, mind and spirit with interactive simulation training, specialized classes, cooking demonstrations, lifestyle lectures, relaxation areas, health care screening, wellness events, edible gardens, walking trails and a conference space.

Boys & Girls Club of North Central Florida – $5,000. Funds will continue to support the Boys & Girls Club’s Work Alliance for Youth (WAY) program, which aims to close the opportunity gap by preparing youth for a competitive work environment. WAY will provide exposure to career paths, hands-on training and coursework in a variety of subjects as well as internship and/or job placement.

Boys & Girls Club of Volusia/Flagler County – $5,000. The Boys & Girls Club of Volusia/Flagler County program will reduce the number of families on its current waitlist to continue providing children with a safe environment to learn and become positive members in the community.

Find, Feed & Restore – $5,000. The Clermont housing program will continue to assist families with children and individuals with no cost and affordable housing to combat homelessness in the South Lake area through its recent purchase of property in Groveland, which will start offering housing in February 2022. 

Lake Wales Care Center – $5,000. Each year Duke Energy partners with the Lake Wales Care Center to purchase 50 food baskets to assist families in need. Funds will continue to support this program and its families during the holidays.

Seminole State College Foundation – $15,000. Funds will support Seminole State College Foundation’s Workforce Recruitment Program. The program allows Seminole State College students to gain employment immediately in the workforce by receiving a GED at the same time they receive HVAC or electrician certification.

The Foundation for Orange County Public Schools – $40,000. The Foundation for Orange County Public Schools program will focus on areas including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), energy education, engineering, computational science or cybersecurity learning opportunities, arts and middle school book clubs and non-fiction classroom libraries. Funds will also give teachers extra resources to engage students and directly impact learning gains.

United Arts of Central Florida – $50,000. The United Arts of Central Florida program will provide additional training opportunities to address identified deficiencies and develop grants and/or contracts for service programs to bring funding opportunities to these organizations in a manner that is most beneficial to them. United Arts will also work with Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) to provide training opportunities to organizations led by people of color and artists of color on how to develop curriculum-based arts education programming so they can offer arts education programming through the OCPS arts education contract.

Greater Tallahassee; Gainesville area

Conservation Corps of the Forgotten and Emerald Coast (Franklin’s Promise Coalition) – $5,000. Funds will support the Conservation Corps of the Forgotten and Emerald Coast’s OysterCorps program. The program supports crew member certifications, training and field work experiences to strengthen coastal resilience, restore oyster habitat and diversify the local and regional economy through aquaculture.

Jefferson County Education Foundation – $5,000. Funds will supplement the foundation’s “3 E’s” (energy, engineering and environment) teacher mini-grant program.

Lafayette Penny Foundation – $5,000. Lafayette Penny Foundation will purchase additional supplies and materials for fourth and fifth grade science labs at Lafayette Elementary, both of which were initially developed with funding provided by the Duke Energy Foundation.

Levy County Schools Foundation – $5,000. Public Education Foundation of Marion County – $5,000. Sumter Education Enhancement Foundation – $5,000. The Education Foundation of Alachua County – $5,000. Funds will support the foundations’ continued work throughout the pandemic, including but not limited to getting internet and/or computers into homes that didn’t have them, providing virtual learning tools, delivering meals throughout the week to families in need and providing schools with hand sanitizers, masks and more.

Madison County Foundation for Excellence in Education – $5,000. Funds will supplement the foundation’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-focused teacher mini-grant program.

Ocala Metro Chamber & Economic Partnership – $10,000. Funds will support theOcala Metro Chamber & Economic Partnership’s development of the Ocala Metro Workforce Participation Survey to identify individuals not participating in the workforce, identify barriers to their entering the workforce and begin plans to address barriers. (Ocala Metro Chamber & Economic Partnership received an additional $10,000 grant through the Duke Energy Foundation to support this initiative.)

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.9 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50% carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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