Ameren partners with UMSL to enhance Opportunity Scholars, Bridge programs

Ameren partners with UMSL

As part of a comprehensive $2.5 million program, Ameren announced a $500,000 gift to UMSL to support the Opportunity Scholars and Bridge programs. Pictured (from left) is Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren; UMSL Chancellor Tom George; and Sharon Harvey Davis, vice president and chief diversity officer for Ameren.

A new partnership between Ameren Corporation and the University of Missouri–St. Louis will help unprepared precollegiate students to matriculate, and it will provide new opportunities for underrepresented students interested in science, technology, engineering or math careers.

On Oct. 3, Ameren Corporation Chairman, President and CEO Warner Baxter announced the partnership as part of the company’s $2.5 million multifaceted initiative. Through the partnership, UMSL will receive $500,000 to be split between the Opportunity Scholars and Bridge programs. The programs both work toward improving the community by providing access to higher education and professional development opportunities.

“We are excited to once again partner with Ameren, a company that shares a common goal with UMSL: create positive change for a better, more-inclusive St. Louis,” UMSL Chancellor Tom George said. “Their gift will go a long way toward making college more accessible for all and enhancing our efforts to educate the next wave of workers in STEM fields.”

UMSL’s Opportunity Scholars Program provides St. Louis-area high school students an all-inclusive, four-year scholarship complete with internship and other career opportunities. The program focuses, but is not limited to, the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Participants include first-generation college students and students underrepresented in the work force of their academic area of study.

The award-winning UMSL Bridge Program brings high school students to campus at no charge for an intensive, four-week-long Summer Academy in June and July and a Saturday Academy from October to March. Classroom, workshop and laboratory activities focus on science, math, interpersonal communication, ACT preparation, and personal and career development. The program has maintained a 100 percent college attendance rate among participating students and drew a record 900 applicants last year.

In addition to educational partnerships, Ameren’s initiative will support economic development and energy assistance to communities in St. Louis and north St. Louis County. The program aligns with a number of priorities identified by the Ferguson Commission and will support a variety of organizations and programs related to child well-being, education and job readiness.

“Providing hope, opportunity and resources to those in need will positively impact the future of many families and communities and will create a stronger St. Louis and region,” said Baxter, who grew up in north St. Louis County and earned a BSBA from UMSL in 1983, in a statement. “Our comprehensive program combines educational opportunities at all stages of life – from early childhood through college – with extensive job readiness programs, internships and mentoring. These programs, bolstered by support for energy assistance, will make a meaningful, long-term difference in our region.”

Media Coverage:
St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The St. Louis American
Associated Press

The UMSL Experience

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