We know that a solid education creates a stronger future for our communities.
That’s why education is one of our philanthropic focus areas, which we emphasize each July to September as the school year begins. Here are five ways that we support kindergarten through 12th grade students, teachers and classrooms.
To build a solid foundation for future careers, TEP directs donations to nonprofit groups that promote education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Each year, we provide funding and volunteer support for Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF) programs, especially its annual regional science fair. Last year, more than 54,000 Arizona students participated in SARSEF’s programs, which include a STEM camp aimed at female students.
TEP also supports the Pima County School Superintendent’s STEMAZing Project, which provides training for teachers as well as supplies – including mini robots. In addition, TEP supports the Arizona Science Teachers Association’s programs, including professional development opportunities.
Because teachers often spend their own money on classrooms, TEP contributes to organizations that help offset those costs. TEP supports a Tucson Values Teachers program that provides teachers with gift cards to pay for educational items. This year, TEP is sponsoring the organization’s event to honor education champions, Stand Up for Teachers.
The Educational Enrichment Foundation (EEF), which supports Tucson Unified School District teachers and students, has provided teacher grants of up to $1,000 each for STEM projects through a TEP donation. This year, TEP responded to principal and teacher requests at Maldonado Middle School to help create a STEM lab for the diverse makeup of Maldonado student body.
TEP contributes to Arizona school tuition organizations that provide low-income and disabled students with scholarships to attend private schools in Southern Arizona and in communities around TEP’s Springerville Generating Station in eastern Arizona.
TEP’s $200,000 contribution to Arizona’s Catholic Tuition Support Organization provided 126 scholarships that helped students attend Pima County private elementary, middle and high schools, including Salpointe Catholic High School and San Miguel High School. More than 60 percent of those students meet low-income guidelines under Arizona’s Credit for Corporate Contributions requirements.
“Recipients of these scholarships are enrolled in our schools that are on the front lines serving minority, low-income and at-risk students,” said Gracie Quiroz Marum, Chief Executive Officer of Arizona’s CTSO. “The impact on the lives of deserving students has been nothing short of profound. Students have achieved success as a direct result of the self-confidence and skills they have gained through the foundation of an excellent education that companies like yours provide.”
TEP also contributed $50,000 to the White Mountain Tuition Support Foundation, which provides scholarships to students in the Springerville area.
We know students struggle to succeed in school if their basic needs aren’t met. Our donations to Youth on their Own support stipends for homeless students who stay in school and get good grades. Last year, TEP shifted a donation that was intended for a graduation party to provide additional stipends, which were needed especially for YOTO students who had lost their jobs during the pandemic.
TEP also helps EEF buy shoes for low-income TUSD students. While EEF’s in-person shopping events were canceled during the pandemic, we continued to give funds for shoes for children.
Through our financial and volunteer support of Junior Achievement, TEP promotes financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship in our communities. Before the pandemic paused in-person volunteering, our employees led lessons on finances at Blenman Elementary School. TEP also promotes programs that prepare high school students for future jobs.
Through September for our TEP Gives program, we are making an additional donation to Junior Achievement for each account holder who signs up for one of our programs – Budget Billing, e-bill or Auto Pay.