ALBUQUERQUE, NM – NextEra Energy, Inc. recently announced American Indian Graduate Center has launched the NextEra Energy Scholarship Program, a culturally relevant and Indigenous-centered scholarship specifically built for Native students pursuing careers in the field of energy and across Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as a whole.
The NextEra Energy Scholarship Program will provide 15 scholarships, each valued at $5,000 a year, for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree in the fields of energy, environment and cultural sustainability and preservation. The NextEra Energy Foundation has committed to fund the scholarship program for the next three years.
“American Indian Graduate Center is excited to partner with NextEra Energy to create a new program to increase the number of scholars we impact each year,” said Angelique Albert (Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes), American Indian Graduate Center Executive Director. “We are proud to offer programming that meets the needs of our students and directly impacts their academic journeys.”
“In 2020, over 40 percent of our scholars were pursuing a degree in a STEM field,” added Albert. “With a rise in applicants pursuing careers in this sector, it’s critical to bolster our programs to empower them. NextEra Energy’s support will allow us to continue our growth and impact even more Native students.”
The NextEra Energy Scholarship Program will focus on education funding for tribally identified priorities.
“Scholarships that have the ability to support Tribal Ecological Knowledge (TEK), languages, traditional food systems and more are critically needed at this time when our tribal communities have identified climate change initiatives, protection of natural resources, food sovereignty and language immersion programs as essential,” said Albert. “The NextEra Energy Scholarship program allows us to fund students academically in areas that not only support our tribes’ well-being, but also allow our TEK to inform the energy industry as a whole. It’s an opportunity to have a transformative impact in the field.”
“We’re excited to launch this program as part of NextEra Energy’s commitment to supporting the communities we serve and those that host our projects,” said John Ketchum, President and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources. “We want to support the next generation of Native leaders, as well as honor the work of tribes that collaborate with us in our effort to decarbonize the electric energy industry while ensuring that we identify, avoid and protect sensitive tribal resources during development and construction of renewable projects across the country.”
The scholarship is the latest addition to American Indian Graduate Center’s portfolio of more than 30 scholarships and support services that are designed specifically to address the needs of Native students in post-secondary education.