As part of APS’s commitment to Latino education, the company pledged $250,000 Wednesday to establish the Ed and Verma Pastor Legacy Scholarship, which will be administered through the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Arizona Emerging Leaders Initiative. The contribution will help provide scholarships to Latino students majoring in a STEM or a Public Policy field at any public university or college in Arizona.
Supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and other education programs became the APS Foundation’s focus in 2012. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona students have a low proficiency ranking in those subjects in comparison to the rest of the country. The bureau states that of the 30 fastest-growing occupations projected through 2016, more than half will require mastery within the STEM subjects, making Arizona’s ranking an issue for the future of high paying jobs in the state.
“We want to build on the commitment to education shown by Ed and Verma, recognize them as strong role models, and instill their spirit of public service in our youth,” said Don Brandt, Chairman, President and CEO of APS, in announcing the pledge at the Chicanos Por La Causa 46th Anniversary dinner Thursday evening. “I invite other business leaders to join APS in honoring the Pastors by supporting this program and its commitment to Arizona’s Latino students.”
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce launched the $3 million “Prosperity through Excellence Campaign” in 2013 with an emphasis on increasing economic opportunities for Latinos in Arizona. The Arizona Emerging Leaders Initiative is the Education Pillar of the campaign and is aimed at expanding the path toward college access and career success for young Latinos.