Future of Energy Scholarship Fund enters its second year, with 47 awards to help remove barriers to college degrees in STEM
ComEd today announced it has awarded $247,500 in scholarships to 47 local students pursuing a college degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) this upcoming school year. Through the Future of Energy scholarship program, ComEd offers awards of up to $10,000 each with a goal of supporting more diverse, local students in pursuing education in STEM, which is increasingly important due to the clean energy transition underway in Illinois and around the country.
Since its launch in 2022, the ComEd Future of Energy Scholarship has awarded nearly $640,000 to 115 local students. Expanding opportunities for area youth to pursue STEM degrees is critical to ComEd’s work to establish a diverse, qualified talent pipeline that is prepared to support the power grid and the growing number of clean energy jobs that will be created in the years ahead. A recent study commissioned by ComEd projects that 150,000 new jobs in Illinois could be added by the year 2050 as a result of the clean energy transition.
“At ComEd, we know that today’s youth will play a critical role in addressing tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities, including a growing demand for skilled talent to support our transition to a cleaner future,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. “Through the Future of Energy Scholarship, ComEd is expanding equitable opportunities for our youth, so that more women and persons of color can be a part of the exciting work to modernize the grid and create a cleaner, brighter future for our communities.”
The 2023 ComEd Future of Energy scholarship winners reflect a high level of diversity, with 95 percent new awardees identified as people of color or women. This fall, 12 percent of the first-time scholars are poised to attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) across the country. New to the program this year is renewal scholarships, through which, 22 current FOE scholars have earned a scholarship for the second year that will cover a portion of their college tuition and renewable expenses. The program continues to prioritize candidates based on need by reserving over 80 percent of new awards for families who earn an annual income of $99,000 or less.
In addition to the financial award, all new scholars will have the opportunity to intern with ComEd, provided that they remain enrolled as a full-time student and taking classes, meet GPA requirements and complete the company’s hiring process.
“I’m beyond grateful for this scholarship and the opportunity to gain valuable industry experience through my summer internship at ComEd,” said Aliyah Muhammad, a Glenwood native, who is pursuing a Business Administration & Management degree at North Carolina A&T State University. “Both my twin brother and I were awarded, so it not only takes some of the financial burden off of my mom of sending twins to college, but it lets us know that hard work pays off and that you really can do anything that you set your mind to.”
Working with National Energy Education Development (NEED), ComEd reached students across its service region to jumpstart their STEM education with the help of the Future of Energy scholarship program. Students interested in pursuing STEM degrees in the future can find out more information about eligibility and how to apply for future scholarships at https://needorg.my.site.com/ComEd/s/scholarship-information.
“The students selected for the scholarship are a testament to ComEd’s commitment to the future of the energy workforce,” said Mary Spruill, Executive Director at The NEED Project. “These students come from a diversity of backgrounds, but each have shared that this scholarship allows them to focus on their studies rather than focusing on all of the expenses pursuing a degree requires. I cannot wait to see what these students are capable of thanks to ComEd’s support.”
The Future of Energy Scholarship is one example of how ComEd is preparing more future leaders for careers in energy and construction. In addition to STEM and scholarship programs, ComEd is invested in expanding job training programs to help job seekers develop the skills needed to support the growing demand for electric vehicles, solar and grid operations. These programs are dedicated to recruiting more women and persons of color for roles serving the diverse and vibrant communities found across the ComEd service territory. Last year alone, ComEd STEM and workforce development programs reached nearly 2,000 people in northern Illinois.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.