Bluefield State awarded substantial grant for STEM program

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BLUEFIELD WV (WVNS) — Bluefield State College was awarded a $250,000 grant from Appalachian Power and the American Electric Power Foundation.

In response to the events of the last year, the American Electric Power foundation created “Delivering on the Dream, Social and Racial justice” grants program.

“It’s a big deal, but it is an even bigger deal when you are an HBCU and you receive something of that magnitude,” said Deirdre Guyton, the Director of Alumni Affairs and the Executive Director of the Bluefield State College Foundation.

Bluefield State was one of four historically black colleges and universities across the country to receive the grant. The school intends to use the grant to support a STEM initiative for students of color, both on campus and in the community.

“Starting at middle school and getting them introduced to science technology engineering and mathematics and that is what my vision of the STEM academy is,” said Guyton.

Guyton wants to open up a new world of opportunities for minority children.

“I want them to know that there are people out there that look just like them and are doing these things,” said Guyton.

As well as propel those on campus to careers in STEM. The passion for education at every level brought Bluefield State College to the attention of the American Electric Power Foundation.

“It was perfect because we always try to support education, that is always one of our main priorities in giving and we just introduced tying in racial justice so that tied both of these opportunities together,” said Jeri Matheney, the Director of Communications for Appalachian Power.

With on-campus dorms and a school football team returning to campus, in addition to a new and improved STEM program, Guyton cannot wait for the semester to start.

“I am excited! I can’t wait until September the fourth,” said Guyton.

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