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Duke Energy Foundation Invests $250,000 in FAO’s STEM Initiative

The Duke Energy Foundation this month strongly endorsed the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) and its efforts to shape a regional approach to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education with a gift of $250,000 over the next three years. Duke’s gift leverages a newly awarded STEM Initiatives planning grant from the Ohio Board of Regents for the southeast region and will amplify the effects of the state’s investment in this regional effort.

Dedicated to the burgeoning Appalachian Ohio Business Council’s Signature STEM Initiative, the gift will support the Foundation as well as the region’s efforts to develop a STEM Hub to assist in equipping our students with the 21st century skills necessary for success while arming our region with the skilled workforce necessary to impact Appalachian Ohio’s economic competitiveness. Karen Monday, Vice President of Foundation and Business Management at Duke Energy, shared the news with an announcement at the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) southeast regional conference, co-hosted by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, OACHE and SEOCEMS with support from the State of Ohio, the Ohio STEM Learning Network and the National Governor’s Association.

“Duke Energy Foundation is proud to commit funds and leadership to this initiative,” Monday said. “By contributing to the development of a STEM Hub for Appalachian Ohio through FAO, we’re confident that our investment will impact the region’s students in and beyond the classroom for years to come. We encourage other businesses to join us in investing in the region’s future.”

After its first decade of service as a regional community foundation to Appalachian Ohio, FAO pledged to focus its discretionary resources on education for the coming 10 years to ensure access to educational opportunity for all of our students. A regional approach to STEM education will provide students with access to the opportunities necessary for them to compete in a global workforce and contribute to our regional economy as skilled and innovative workers.

“The Duke Energy Foundation’s commitment to STEM education in our region is game- changing,” said Cara Dingus Brook, President and CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. “Its revolutionary investment and leadership over the next three years will transform the educational and economic opportunities available to this region’s students.”
Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 4 million customers located in five states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 11 million people. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

During its 10 years of service, FAO has made a tremendous difference by developing tools and partnerships to combat regional problems, including investing over $1.5 million in grants and scholarships to meet unique needs and opportunities in communities across Appalachian Ohio.