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Silicon Valley Power Sustainable Futures Program

Silicon Valley Power Sustainable Futures Program enhances college access through scholarships and support for project-based learning for undergraduate students pursuing sustainability-focused studies and careers. 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.

Each year, Santa Clara University selects a cohort of incoming undergraduate students for the Scholarship, and the Center for Sustainability selects a cohort of undergraduate junior or senior students for the Fellowship.

Program Partners
Silicon Valley Power Logo with a green box and yellow circuits Logo for the City of Santa Clara Circles with a spaceship, a steering wheel, an arrow, and a flag to represent The Career Center

“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. It is also vital to meet the City of Santa Clara’s climate goals.”

Manuel Pineda, SVP’s Chief Electric Utility Officer

About the SVP Sustainable Futures Fellowship

Application Process:

  1. Review requirements, qualifications, and proposed projects. 
  2. Draft a fellowship application identifying the specific project you would like to work on and describe how involvement in this project could advance your career ambitions.
  3. Acquire a letter of recommendation from an SCU faculty member, who is knowledgeable of your academic and career goals, that align with this program.
  4. Submit your application before the deadline.


  1. Students shall remain in good academic and behavioral standing based on SCU policies and values.
  2. Current Santa Clara University junior or senior.

Applicants who meet all of the following will be prioritized for this opportunity:

  • Come from underrepresented socio-economic backgrounds (e.g. Black, Latina/o/x, Native American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and first-generation),
  • Demonstrate a clear intention to pursue a career path in sustainability or clean power sectors,
  • Show strong leadership potential and commitment to the climate mandate outlined within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • High-Impact Learning Experiences: Students will engage in 10 weeks of high-impact projects that provide real-world perspectives and experiences that 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.
  • Paid Stipend: $5,000 grant for one year to help fund experiences through the University’s Center for Sustainability.
  • Career Support: Professional, individualized mentorship and networking opportunities.

The Fellowship experience is designed to enable students to explore intersectional issues surrounding the global climate crisis as well as the application and scaling of climate solutions at the local level, using the SCU campus and the City of Santa Clara as living laboratories. The Fellowship concludes with a paper or presentation to share findings and recommendations for specific projects.  

Some topics may be more theoretical while others may be highly applied in areas such as technology development, behavior change, and data collection and analysis. Fellows will collaborate on a project under mentorship from SCU faculty and staff members, including administration and dining service leadership.

Interested fellowship applicants propose a project of interest or may express interest in working with Center for Sustainability and/or Santa Clara City mentors to develop a project in one of the following areas:

  • Integration of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) practices into sustainability projects
  • Focus on climate and sustainability issues at the local (City of Santa Clara) level related to:
    • Green building/building decarbonization
    • Clean mobility/transportation decarbonization
    • Electrical, Mechanical or Civil Engineering that supports sustainability
    • Microgrid or other energy-related generation/storage
    • Climate resilience, heat impacts, etc. (community component)
    • Natural systems/water resources/habitat/urban forest
    • Research and summaries of existing regional sustainability work being done
    • The application of JEDI practices in climate action
    • Sustainability outreach/marketing best practices or campaigns
    • Food systems and climate
    • Local investments/divestments and climate 

About the SVP Sustainable Futures Scholarship

Scholars will benefit from: 

  • Professional networking opportunities. 
  • Recurring annual scholarship support throughout the duration of their sustainability-focused studies at Santa Clara University, while they are program participants. 
  • Recognition of their involvement in the program.

Students will be informed if they are eligible for this scholarship. Prioritization is given to transfer students and those who come from underserved socio-economic backgrounds (e.g. Black, Latina/o/x, Native American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and first-generation). Special thanks to SCU's Enrollment Management Division and Financial Aid for ongoing support to continue these scholarships through the students' time at SCU. 

Program Participants and Projects
Meet the Fellows
SVP Fellows in front of the Santa Clara City Hall sign

View profiles of current and former fellows. 

Fellowship Research
two students on either side of a poster on an easel are speaking about their research

Explore research projects completed by former fellows. 

Meet the Scholars
SVP Fellows and Scholars group

View profiles of current and former scholarship participants. 

Explore Silicon Valley Power, a partner in this project. Explore City of Santa Clara, a partner in this project.
In the News

Media clips of the SVP Sustainable Futures Program: