Shreveport, La.-based utility Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) announced Friday (Oct. 29) that American Electric Power Foundation will give $100,000 to the Rogers Development Foundation to promote academic success among Hispanic students of Rogers high schools.
The grant will support the Leadership, Education, Advancement & Development (L.E.A.D.) project, which provides opportunities for academic success and prepares youth with tools for success in pursuit of higher education or to enter the job market, according to a news release.
SWEPCO’s parent company, Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP), along with its utilities, including SWEPCO, funds the AEP Foundation.
According to the release, the gift is part of the AEP Foundation’s Delivering on the Dream: Social and Racial Justice grant program, which is a five-year, $5 million commitment to fund organizations with programs dedicated to advancing social and racial justice in communities served by AEP.
“L.E.A.D. is a good example of the chamber’s mission-work and is made possible by the AEP Foundation grant to the Rogers Development Foundation, which seeks funding to support the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber’s efforts to preserve, promote and enhance the cities of Rogers and Lowell,” said Raymond Burns, president and CEO of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce. “This grant enables both the chamber and Rogers Public Schools to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion goals by engaging at-risk Hispanic/Latino students to increase graduation rates, set them on career pathways and help them build personal and professional networks to foster connections.”
Bradley Hardin, SWEPCO external affairs and government affairs manager in Fayetteville, said “As Northwest Arkansas continues to grow, and the communities we serve become more diverse, this is an exciting opportunity to make a difference in our schools, including Latino students in our three Rogers high schools. We are pleased to support this outstanding program as part of our company’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.”
SWEPCO serves customers in three states, including 123,000 customers in Arkansas.