Working together with the communities we serve
At NextEra Energy, we’re working with the communities we serve to make them even better places to work and raise families. One of the ways we do this is by supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiatives that prepare students for good-paying jobs and provide the technical skills that are highly valued in our business. We support programs for students and teachers at all grade levels.
Increasingly, our employees are seeking volunteer opportunities in which they can leverage their own skills to inspire the next generation of technology-savvy workers. Our employees have risen to the challenge and had fun along the way! Here are some of the ways we support education.
Robotics is a major focus of our education philanthropy. In addition to supporting 70 robotics teams across Florida, we also partner with the FIRST organization to sponsor regional tournaments in South and Northeast Florida. The company also sponsors a science show for about 80,000 grade school students each year and has donated 130 Solar Education Stations to schools and education centers.
We believe students who participate in robotics learn engineering and programming skills, but also teamwork, communications and other vital work skills. We’re giving back to our communities while fostering the future workforce we’ll need.
In 2016, FPL awarded its inaugural FIRST Robotics Scholarship to an outstanding student from the company’s service area who has participated on a FIRST robotics team for at least two years and has enrolled in a college program in engineering or information management. The $5,000 scholarship is renewable annually up to a maximum of $20,000.
- High School Students Learn Graduate-level Finance Skills
Each year, NextEra Energy executives step into a classroom at the William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach County, Florida, to teach graduate-level finance courses to juniors enrolled in the school’s Academy of Finance. And that’s just the beginning!
During the six-month program, the students are also coached in presentation and leadership skills. When the classroom portion of the program ends, the students split into teams that are asked to use all they’ve learned to evaluate the financial feasibility of theoretical wind-driven, electric generating facilities or wind farms – the kind of work that real-life NextEra Energy Resources employees do every day.
In the end, the teams present their recommendations to a panel of judges made up of FPL and NextEra Energy Resources executives, school district administrators and local finance and engineering professionals. Each student on the winning team receives a $2,000 college scholarship.
William T. Dwyer High School juniors, members of the team GenAIRation, were named overall winners in FPL’s R.B. “Rod” Adams Renewable Energy Competition. Each member of the team will receive a $2,000 college scholarship. From left to right: Marlene Pierre (West Palm Beach), Trenton Circullo (Jupiter), Ricardo Cordero (Palm Beach Gardens), Zoe Moye (Palm Beach Gardens) and Jamie Henriquez (Jupiter).
- Teacher Workshop Helps Bring Wind Energy to Classrooms
In February 2017, NextEra Energy Resources sponsored a day-long wind energy workshop for 13 science teachers from across the Hinton, Oklahoma region. The company funded the workshop as well as supplies for the teachers to help incorporate wind energy projects in their classrooms and enhance STEM education for elementary through high school students. The teachers from the Hinton and Hydro school districts participated in classroom discussions, hands-on activities and a tour of a NextEra Energy Resources wind farm.
The company is developing two wind farms near the Hinton area.
- Supporting Nature Education
NextEra Energy Canada is supporting local outdoor and nature education programs for children in local communities near Exeter, Ontario. The company provided a $25,000 grant to the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) to support local schools and innovative, hands-on learning opportunities. The funds will make field trips more affordable for schools by reducing the costs of conservation area tours and classroom programs taught by conservation educators.
NextEra Energy Canada operates five wind energy projects within the watershed of the ABCA.