Following a tradition of many years, the Gulf Power Foundation, Inc., delivered to the Florida Panhandle Technical College Foundation a significant donation for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Club programs operated by the Washington County School District for high school and middle school students.
Darrin Wall, Gulf Power Manager in Chipley, presented a check to FPTC Foundation Chairman Jim Town and FPTC Director Martha Compton at the College main office. In addition to supporting the STEM Club activities for younger students, Gulf Power annually provides donations for the general scholarship programs for FPTC.
The FPTC Foundation administers the STEM funds in conjunction with matching grants for K-12 students attending FPTC under dual enrollment. Because of the Consortium of Florida Educational Foundations (CFEF) membership for the FPTC Foundation, donations from individuals and businesses can be used to obtain the matching grants, thus doubling the program funds available.
In the last three years, the Foundation has increased its support to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs involving students in middle school and high school who form teams in certain subjects and compete regionally and state-wide representing Washington County.
The primary mission for the Foundation is to provide financial assistance to FPTC students seeking career qualifications and adult education. During the last 6 school years, the Foundation has assisted over 400 students with a total in student grants of over $250,000. Over that time, a total of 18 student certification programs have been supported through student aid. The 2016 – 2017 fund raising campaign runs from October through next March.
Students for the FPTC programs can apply for Foundation assistance through the FPTC enrollment process, and the school screens all applicants so that any other available financial aid for which a student qualifies has been obtained first. The majority of grants are made in the fall each year, but students can apply at any time throughout the year when they are getting enrolled for courses.
The Foundation currently has over 100 members and operates as an IRS Code Section 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and is a Florida not-for-profit corporation registered as a Charitable Organization, so donations are generally tax deductible for the donor.
Donations are appreciated at any time and the Foundation can accept donations in almost any format from cash to bequeaths, or real and personal property that can be converted to cash or investment income. Under the endowment program, scholarships can be named in honor of a person or family. To obtain a giving guide or brochure about the Foundation, contact current Chairperson Jim Town (850-773-8000), or the FPTC Office of the Director (638-1180, Ext 301.