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June 2022

Students in sustainability conducting waste characterization study

Students in sustainability conducting waste characterization study

City of Santa Clara Announces Silicon Valley Power Sustainable Futures Program

A unique program provides scholarships and fellowships to SCU for up to 35 future leaders in sustainability, clean energy and related fields.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 14, 2022—On June 7, 2021, the City of Santa Clara City Council unanimously approved the new Silicon Valley Power Sustainable Futures Program, which will provide scholarships and fellowships to up to 35 future leaders in sustainability, clean energy and related fields. The goal of the program is to develop a pipeline of strong, diverse future leaders in sustainability and clean energy sectors.

The innovative, five-year program is funded by a $375,000 grant from Silicon Valley Power (SVP), the City of Santa Clara’s not-for-profit municipal electric utility. Selected students—especially those transferring from local community colleges—will use the funds to attend and receive advanced opportunities at Santa Clara University and its award-winning environmental and sustainability curriculum.

“Investing in a green jobs workforce pipeline is critical to achieving Silicon Valley Power’s vision to innovate creative energy solutions for a resilient and sustainable community,” said SVP’s chief electric utility officer, Manuel Pineda. “It is also vital to meet the City of Santa Clara’s climate goals.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with Silicon Valley Power on a program that aligns beautifully with our University’s goals of increasing access and affordability to higher education and building a pipeline of strong future leaders in the vital field of sustainability,” said Eva Blanco Masias, vice president for enrollment management at Santa Clara University.

The program begins in the 2022-2023 school year and will provide for support as follows:

  • Silicon Valley Power Sustainable Futures Scholarships. Each year for five years, Santa Clara University will award four students from underrepresented socioeconomic backgrounds scholarships averaging $15,000 for sustainability-related studies at Santa Clara University. Applicants transferring from Mission College or other community colleges in Santa Clara will be given priority for these scholarships as a way of increasing access to a four-year education for promising community college students.
  • Silicon Valley Power Sustainable Futures Fellowships. Each year for five years, Santa Clara University will award three students fellowships of $5,000 to help fund experiences through the University’s Center for Sustainability. Preference will be given for students who are from underrepresented socioeconomic backgrounds who intend to pursue careers in sustainability or clean energy and who show strong leadership potential and commitment to climate goals such as UN Sustainable Development Goals. Fellows will benefit from:
     
    • High-Impact Learning Experiences: Students will have the chance to engage in 10 weeks of high-impact projects that provide real-world perspectives and experiences, build critical applied skills and enhance their early career and post-graduate success.
    • Partnership Opportunities: Working with the City of Santa Clara, students will lead research and outreach projects to solve local climate or sustainability-related problems, increasing their understanding and ability to create local solutions and exposing them to green jobs.

The program is designed to improve students’ skill sets to compete for emerging green jobs. The skill requirements are expanding rapidly, particularly in the Bay Area, where energy, sustainability and climate drivers are leading the way in accelerating this field.

“Santa Clara University is excited to put the sustainability programming we’ve developed over decades in service of local problems, as Fellows will use the campus and City as living laboratories,” said Lindsey Kalkbrenner, director of SCU’s Center for Sustainability. “We are thrilled these opportunities will enable more students to explore their roles in sustainability, and sustainability in their roles.”

The Sustainable Futures Program complements current efforts by Silicon Valley Power to support Mission College students in areas related to sustainability. With the development of the Sustainable Futures Program, SVP will be phasing out its former scholarship program after this year. SVP will consider additional efforts to support the growth of talent and diversity in green careers as opportunities arise. More details will be available this fall.

About the City of Santa Clara
Located at the heart of Silicon Valley, about 45 miles south of San Francisco, the City of Santa Clara truly is “The Center of What’s Possible.” Incorporated in 1852, Santa Clara covers an area of 19.3 square miles with a population of 120,000. Santa Clara is home to an extraordinary array of high-tech companies, including Applied Materials, Intel, Nvidia, Oracle, and Ericsson. The City of Santa Clara is also home to Santa Clara University, California’s Great America Theme Park, and Levi’s® Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers and Super Bowl 50. For more information, go to www.SantaClaraCA.gov.

About Silicon Valley Power
Silicon Valley Power (SVP) is the trademark adopted for use by the not-for-profit electric municipal utility of Santa Clara, CA, serving residents and businesses for over 125 years. SVP provides power to over 57,000 customers, at rates 25 to 53 percent below neighboring communities. SVP is the only full service, vertically integrated publicly owned utility in Silicon Valley owning generation, transmission and distribution assets. See more at: www.siliconvalleypower.com.

CITY OF SANTA CLARA CONTACTS:
Lon Peterson | Director of Communications | 408-615-5522 | lpeterson@santaclaraca.gov
Michelle Templeton | City Sustainability Manager | 408-615-2290 | mtempleton@santaclaraca.gov
Kathleen Hughes |  Sr. Division Manager - Customer Engagement |408-615-6632 | khughes@santaclaraca.gov

SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY CONTACT:
Deborah Lohse |  Media Communications | 408-554-5121 | dlohse@scu.edu

 

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SCU sustainability students conducting a waste characterization study.