FFA chapters across Oklahoma are receiving a share of more than $38,000 after being named recipients of this year’s American Electric Power Foundation FFA STEM After-School grants.
The AEP Foundation is the charitable arm of American Electric Power, parent company of Tulsa-based electric provider Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO). The grant program is made possible through a partnership between PSO and the Oklahoma FFA Foundation.
Since 2018, the AEP Foundation and PSO have awarded grants now totaling more than $123,000 to state FFA chapters to fund a wide range of programs and activities that are helping advance agricultural education, foster innovation and inspire success. In 2020, the AEP Foundation announced a $200,000 grant to fund the program for another five years.
This year, grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 were awarded to FFA chapters in Alex, Atoka, Boone-Apache, Boswell, Broken Arrow, Broken Bow, Burns Flat, Calvin, Canadian, Caney Valley, Dewey, Jay, Okmulgee, Stigler, Temple and Valliant.
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with FFA to offer hands-on, STEM-related education to students in the areas we serve,” Tiffini Jackson, PSO vice-president of external affairs, said in a statement. “These grants will help students learn technical and critical-thinking skills that can help fuel innovation and set them on a rewarding career path.”
Grant applications were submitted earlier this summer, with priority given to applications that benefit more than one chapter and that are sustainable over multiple years.
“There are many of our chapters who are limited to learning about technology via the internet and what they see on a screen,” Jacey Frye, Oklahoma FFA Foundation executive director, said in a statement. “We are so excited about these grants that will give chapters the opportunity to have technology at their fingertips. Having equipment in their programs — and sharing among programs — will allow students hands-on learning with real life technology being used in the agricultural industry.”