From left to right: Andrea Bailey (Chevron), Kareem Weaver (New Leaders), Jane Fischberg (Rubicon Programs), Solomon Belette (Catholic Charities of the East Bay), Drew Kravin (West Contra Costa Unified School District), Phil Gonsalves (West Contra Costa Unified School District), Don Gilmore (Community Housing Development Corporation), April Treece (Contra Costa Economic Partnership), Heather Kulp (Chevron).
Six Richmond area nonprofit organizations have been selected to receive a share of $1 million in grants from Chevron as part of the company’s California Partnership Program, which invests in education and economic development in the state.
The grants will expand access to high-quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational opportunities, focusing on agencies working directly with the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) to improve the quality of education.
The grants also will help increase economic development opportunities for families in Richmond and West Contra Costa County, supporting agencies that improve self-sufficiency and help small businesses create and sustain jobs.
“Chevron is committed to boosting Richmond’s economic development and improving the quality of life for local residents,” said Heather Kulp, Public Affairs Manager for Chevron’s Richmond Refinery.
The six programs selected to receive grants include three STEM Energy for Learning Grants:
West County Bridge to College (WCCUSD), $200,000, a summer and academic year support program to better prepare local high school students in mathematics so they can enter Contra Costa College at the college algebra level or higher.
Deepening the Real World STEM Connection (Contra Costa Economic Partnership), $200,000, to improve student achievement by providing work-based learning opportunities, STEM curriculum support and to help students transition from high school to postsecondary education, training and high-demand careers.
Emerging Leaders Program (New Leaders), $100,000, program to build the leadership capacity of promising local teachers; help improve student achievement, including achievement in STEM fields; and build a pipeline of future leaders to have a lasting impact on STEM education.
There were also three Economic Self-Sufficiency Grants:
Project Access Mentoring Program (Catholic Charities of the East Bay), $200,000, supports low-income, limited English proficient Richmond and West County residents secure employment as Early Childhood Education (ECE) associate teachers and support limited English-speaking residents who are currently working as ECE associates.
Work Incentives for Residents and Employers (Rubicon Programs), $175,000, supports joint efforts with East Bay employers to obtain jobs for low-income West Contra Costa County residents by providing job readiness training, job placement assistance, and ongoing career coaching.
Springboard (Community Housing Development Corporation), $125,000, supports new small/micro businesses through providing financial education and coaching and matching the savings of low-income West Contra Costa County entrepreneurs.
“We are grateful for Chevron’s generosity,” said Phil Gonsalves, Director of Math Curriculum and Instruction for the WCCUSD.
“This grant will help to improve student mathematics achievement and better prepare students for success in advanced mathematics courses at Contra Costa College.”
Grant recipients were selected through a competitive process based on an assessment of their capacity and ability to improve education, expand vocational training and increase job opportunities in Richmond and West Contra Costa County.
“We share Chevron’s commitment to creating meaningful economic opportunities for those in our community who need them the most,” said Jane Fischberg, Executive Director, Rubicon Programs. “This grant will allow us to provide comprehensive job readiness training, job placement assistance, and ongoing career coaching to 45 clients, and offer subsidies to employers that hire our clients.”
Chevron started the California Partnership in 2009. Since then, it has helped dozens of nonprofit organizations geared toward economic development and STEM education in and around California.