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Nikasha N Dicks
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Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation Continues to Help Aiken Tech Students

The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation has awarded Aiken Technical College (Aiken Tech) a $20,000 grant to support its student microgrants program.

The program is in its second year and addresses financial barriers that may prevent a student from completing their studies and graduating. To be eligible for the microgrant, a student must have completed at least three-quarters of their degree or certificate program, be on track to graduate within the next year, and have a genuine unmet financial need after using all other sources of aid.

During the 2021-2022 academic year, Aiken Tech awarded microgrants to more than 30 students totaling $20,000. For the recipients, the microgrant helps to alleviate worrying about how to finish what they’ve started.

“This really means a lot to me because as a student, we mostly worry about having aid at the beginning of the semester to pay off all of the things that are priorities, like tuition or books,” said Nancy Lopez Reyes, one of the recipients. “In the end, we are surviving with what we have. So this extra money was a great relief for me.”

Fellow recipient Madelynn Lanphear shared similar sentiments.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for the support and for reducing my financial balance,” she said. “I am committed to doing well…you have given me a huge relief off my shoulders and help through my education.” 

In addition to providing support, those award microgrants are connected with resources to help them be successful, added Aiken Technical College Foundation Director Beth LaClair, Ph.D. The ATC Foundation applied for the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation grant on behalf of the College.

“Students are partnered with support services such as financial literacy, success coaching, career services, and other academic support services,” she said. “By connecting microgrant recipients with these opportunities, they can feel empowered by the financial support, completion of a credential, and the ability to take ownership over their academic and professional life.”

Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation was the first organization to support the student microgrants program when it began in 2021 and, upon seeing its impact, was inspired to continue its support.

“It’s important for everyone to do their part to help build a sustainable workforce here in the Palmetto State,” said Keller Kissam, president of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “Every student deserves access to equitable education, and these grants reinforce our commitment to diversity and inclusion across our company and state.”

Those interested in supporting the student microgrants program should contact Dr. LaClair at laclaire@atc.edu for more information.

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