COOS BAY, OR – Pacific Power Foundation has awarded a $5,000 grant to Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation for the Natural Resources Summer Bridge Program at Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) in Coos Bay. The program is a collaborative pilot project between SWOCC, Coos Watershed Association and TRIO, which provides educational opportunity outreach programs to disadvantaged youth.
With Pacific Power Foundation’s support, 10 community high school students now have the opportunity to enroll in the 8-week, summer intensive high school-to-college bridge program. Students will take college preparatory math and writing classes, and an introductory course on forestry. They also will work in a field-based internship one day per week with the Coos Watershed Association.
“Pacific Power Foundation is pleased to support this worthy organization and its efforts to cultivate students' knowledge in math, writing, science and environmental stewardship,” said Monte Mendenhall, Pacific Power regional community manager.
“This program is a unique, innovative partnership,” said Ross Tomlin, SWOCC Vice President of Instruction. “High school students explore career opportunities with watershed restoration specialists and gain their first classroom exposure to the community college environment.”
The goal of this pilot project is to improve local graduating high school students' college readiness. At the same time, it introduces them to academic and career pathways, improves their employability and gives them a competitive advantage for entry-level internships or jobs.
“We, and the other 60 watershed councils in Oregon, are constantly looking to develop qualified staff,” said Jon Souder, Executive Director of the Coos Watershed Association. “Through our programs, students get a chance to try out the profession, see the vast range of skills that can be applied to our work, and spend time with hands-on learning. I’ve been especially pleased to watch a number of our former students and employees as they’ve moved through college and into the work environment.”
About the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation
The Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation was organized exclusively to benefit higher education in connection with Southwestern Oregon Community College and provide adequate resources to improve every citizen socially, culturally, economically and educationally. For more information, visit www.socc.edu/foundation.
About the Pacific Power Foundation
The Pacific Power Foundation is part of the PacifiCorp Foundation, one of the largest utility-endowed foundations in the United States. The foundation was created in 1988 by PacifiCorp, an electric utility serving 1.8 million customers in six Western states as Pacific Power (Oregon, Washington and California) and Rocky Mountain Power (Utah, Wyoming and Idaho). The foundation’s mission, through charitable investments, is to support the growth and vitality of the communities served by Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net/foundation.
About the Coos Watershed Association
Formed in 1993, the Coos Watershed Association facilitates watershed assessment and restoration, scientific research, monitoring and publication, landowner outreach and environmental education. For more information, visit www.cooswatershed.org.