Read more about the Early Identification Program
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George Mason University is among the seven schools chosen by the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation to split more than $1 million over the next three years in support of Hispanic students.
Mason will join Northern Virginia Community College, Sampson Community College, the University of Connecticut at Stanford, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus and Utah Valley University in each receiving $50,000 per year for the next three years as part of the new Promesa: Hispanic Higher Education Initiative.
Khaseem Davis, the director of Mason’s successful Early Identification Program (EIP), said the “major” gift from Dominion Energy will allow Mason to better support its EIP alumni who identify as Latinx and choose to attend the university.
“This grant will strengthen the support systems necessary for our students to successfully and seamlessly transition to Mason and complete their baccalaureate degree,” Davis said.
The gift, announced just before the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, represents the latest effort by Dominion Energy to invest in educational institutions serving under-represented communities. Previous initiatives included the HBCU Promise in 2020, the Educational Scholarship Program and this year’s earlier Building Hispanic Talent Initiative.
“This investment supports Hispanic college students in achieving their professional and personal goals, while also exposing them to career paths in the energy industry,” said Carter Reid, executive vice president and chief of staff for Dominion Energy.
Collectively among the seven schools, Hispanic students represent approximately 22% of the student population, with 27% of those students being first-generation in their families to attend a higher education institution.
Funds will be spent to help underwrite a range of programs at the schools selected, including scholarships, emergency aid, re-enrollment aid, stipends for faculty-mentored research, and cohort models with wraparound supports.
Established in 1987, EIP partners with seven Northern Virginia public school systems to provide access to educational resources for middle and high school students who will be the first in their families to attend a college or university. Currently, more than 600 enrolled students are actively pursuing higher education thanks to funding from corporate alliances and individual donors.
“We are beyond excited to strengthen our partnership with Dominion Energy,” Davis said, “and are truly appreciative of their support and investment in our students!”