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Laredo College receives AEP Foundation STEM grant

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Laredo College has been awarded a $402,108 grant that will benefit educators and over 600 middle, high school, and college students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. For the fourth consecutive year, our institution has received the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation Credit Count Grant to assist students to achieve their academic goals. 

The AEP Foundation complements a tradition of corporate philanthropy exhibited by AEP and AEP Texas in support of AEP’s community relations goal: To support and play an active, positive role in the communities where we live and work. The AEP Foundation was created in 2005 to continue to support that goal. 

“STEM education plays a key role in the growth and sustainability of our community,” LC President Ricardo J. Solis said. “The steadfast dedication of our employees to obtain these funds is a critical component to create critical thinkers, increase science literacy and prepare innovators at a young age.” 

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These funds allowed LC to collaborate with Laredo Independent School District (LISD) middle schools and high schools through dual enrollment to encourage students to be involved in STEM related fields. 

Some of this year’s participants included students from Dr. Joaquin G. Cigarroa Middle School, Louis J. Christen Middle School and Memorial Middle School. Scholarships were provided to the participating students for the 2020-2021 academic year. These funds were also used for robotics and sourcing classes using the LEGO MINDTSORM EV3 Program and educational kits.

The second component of the grant allowed opportunities for seniors from Dr. Leonides G. Cigarroa High School and Raymond & Tirza Martin High School to participate in two three-credit hour courses, Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment camps, tutoring and testing.

Incoming college freshmen were also awarded with a $1,000 scholarship, which was divided between the fall and spring semesters. In order to qualify as recipients, they must have graduated from LISD schools, have declared a STEM field as a major and complete the scholarship application. Once scholarship funds have been awarded, the student must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher. 

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STEM educators at LISD campuses also had the opportunity to obtain assistance in completing their Master’s Degree in an approved STEM discipline.  Parental and family engagement were also included to complete the experience. 

Laredo College Vice President for Resource Development Dr. Nora R. Garza said, “The AEP Credits Count Grant Program has made an incredible contribution for getting middle and high school students at these schools to think about a STEM career.  Thanks to the wonderful collaboration between AEP, Laredo College and Laredo Independent School District’s administrators and faculty, students will reap the benefits of completing college credits early.”

For more information, contact AEP Credits Count Grant Coordinator Mr. Jose Garcia at (956) 721-5169 or jose.garcia@laredo.edu.

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