Alumni Association partners with Chevron to support undergraduate education

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The Cal Alumni Association announced a partnership with Chevron Saturday in which Chevron will be contributing $100,000 to the association's Achievement Award Program to support undergraduate education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics - often referred to as STEM.

Through the Chevron Achievement Award - which will be implemented for the fall of 2011 - three incoming UC Berkeley freshmen and juniors in the areas of study who meet a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 will receive a laptop and up to $6,500 per year for a maximum of four years to help pay for their academic expenses, according to Felix Flores, director of alumni scholarships for the association.

The award is an expansion of the association's Achievement Award Program, which has been awarding scholarships to incoming freshmen and juniors for the last 11 years, Flores said.

Chevron spokesperson Brent Tippen said in an email that the STEM fields are not only crucial for employment in the corporation, but also provide important skills for the 21st century workforce.

The partnership with Chevron began in January with a proposal to the company by the alumni association's development team, according to Flores, because the association knew Chevron - with whom the alumni association has many connections -was looking for a partnership of that kind. The partnership was solidified in March and is currently in the process of selecting recipients, Flores said.

According to Tippen, the corporation agreed to team up with the alumni association because the two have been linked since 1960, as Chevron recruited UC Berkeley graduates into the company for both internships and long-term employment.

"There are more than 550 Berkeley alumni working at Chevron, making Berkeley one of our company's largest sources of talent," Tippen said in the email.

The alumni association's Achievement Award Program aims to help students pay for college who otherwise would not be able to pay for a UC Berkeley education by awarding a laptop and up to $6,000 to each student per semester.

"The Chevron fund will help support 3 of the possibly up to 100 students in the program," Flores said.

The scholarship money will go toward students' academic expenses, Flores said, most likely to reduce the students' loan debt or work-study amount. The award recipients will go through the campus Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to manage their scholarship money.

Applications for the awards were due in February, and the recipients of the Chevron Achievement Award will be notified April 26.

The Achievement Awards are reserved for students with a maximum gross family income of $86,000 per year, Flores said. Last year, the average family income of the award recipients was approximately $19,000 per year, he said.

Flores said that students in these areas of study who typically receive the awards often have little to no access to financial resources to fund their education and that the award was created to provide them with those resources in order for students to spend more time focusing on their academic goals.

"We've been really accepting of partnerships who are willing to help out a program like this," Flores said.


Contact Katie Bender at [email protected]

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