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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2017

PoweringPotential — PGE Foundation invests nearly a half million dollars in Oregon’s future workforce through education-focused grants
2016 Annual Report now available online

PORTLAND, Ore. — The PGE Foundation — the corporate foundation of Portland General Electric — awarded 39 grants totaling $488,074 in the first quarter of 2017 to education nonprofits across Oregon. Together, these grants support the foundation’s goal of helping students prepare to succeed in college and careers.

“We’re investing in organizations who share our commitment to powering the potential of Oregon’s students,” said Kregg Arntson, executive director of PGE Foundation. “Fostering vibrant, livable communities in our region depends on preparing our students for job opportunities fueled by Oregon’s innovation economy. Together, we are helping our students, our communities, our businesses and our state to thrive.”

Grants were awarded to organizations focused on one of five key themes: preparing students for transitions between key educational milestones, like middle school to high school and high school to college; closing the achievement gap; developing workforce and job-ready skills; developing education policy and leadership capacity; and awarding equity-based scholarships.

For example, College Possible — an organization that helps make college success possible for low-income students by providing an intensive curriculum of coaching and support — was awarded $15,000 for its summer program designed to arm students with knowledge and resources necessary for a successful college transition.

“A college degree is the likeliest pathway out of poverty,” said Julie Mancini, Executive Director of College Possible. “Funds from the PGE Foundation support low-income students through key barriers, like understanding the financial aid resources available to them and making sure they’ve completed the requirements necessary to gain admittance and enroll in college. Thanks to the support of our strong partners, our students are reaching their dreams of higher education and breaking the cycle of generational poverty, changing their lives and strengthening our community.”

Throughout the granting process, special consideration was given to programs with an emphasis on Career Technical Education and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (CTE-STEM). Since 2013, the PGE Foundation has increased its CTE-STEM funding fivefold given the strong impact it has proven to have on motivating middle school and high school students to graduate with clear paths to careers, whether they choose to start with college, post-secondary learning or on-the-job-training.

One way the foundation is supporting CTE-STEM is through grants to organizations like Saturday Academy. The organization received $15,000 to support STEAM Academy, a multi-week academic summer camp for youth in the Portland area. The camp features learning experiences that combine academic tutoring and hands-on classes focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).

“At Saturday Academy, we are dedicated to providing opportunities for young people to follow their curiosity — regardless of their financial means. We connect them to people and experiences that will help them develop intellectually and prepare them for rewarding careers,” said Jeri Janowsky, Executive Director, Saturday Academy. “Through this grant, PGE Foundation is helping address the equity gap in education by supporting our efforts to ensure that all Portland area children are able to follow their curiosity through innovative, hands-on learning.”

Also this week, The PGE Foundation released its 2016 Annual Report. With more than $1 million in grants in 2016, the foundation supported the collaborative work of community organizations dedicated to strengthening families, improving student achievement, inspiring young people through arts and culture experiences, and creating clear pathways to college and career.

First quarter 2017 grants awarded:

Key educational transitions: Closing the achievement gap: Workforce and job-ready skills: Education policy and leadership capacity: Equity-based scholarships: CTE-STEM: PGE Foundation Grants are awarded to local nonprofits located in areas where PGE has customers or power generating plants. For 2017, grantmaking will focus on education, arts and culture education, and safe and stable families. Next quarter’s focus will be on arts and culture education, given the connection that has been made to student engagement and academic achievement. Applications are being accepted through April 10, 2017 for a June decision. Later in 2017, the foundation will award grants focused on supporting safe and stable families and programs and organizations that promote and provide access to basic needs and services. Applications will be accepted June 1 – July 10 for a September decision. For more information, visit our Apply for Funding page.

The PGE Foundation, the corporate foundation of Portland General Electric, was established in 1997 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a permanent endowment. The Foundation’s giving is separate from the corporate giving of PGE. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 1,700 grants and distributed more than $20.7 million to help improve the quality of life for Oregonians by supporting programs and services that encourage safe and healthy families, provide educational opportunities, and encourage arts and cultural diversity. Gwyneth Gamble Booth is chair, Dave Robertson is president and Kregg Arntson is executive director.

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