An event Oct. 26 will celebrate the launch of the Silicon Valley Power Sustainable Futures Program, designed to prepare dozens of Santa Clara University students for next-generation careers in sustainability professions. The launch event will be held at Santa Clara University’s Adobe Lodge from 5 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 26. Speakers from program sponsors Santa Clara University; the city of Santa Clara; and the city’s not-for-profit municipal electric utility, Silicon Valley Power (SVP) will discuss the program and announce this year’s participants. Guests at the event will receive a tour of Santa Clara University’s campus sustainability infrastructure investments

The program aims to provide selected students —especially those transferring to Santa Clara University from Mission College and other local community colleges—with funds to attend and receive advanced opportunities at Santa Clara University’s award-winning environmental and sustainability curriculum. It is being funded by a $375,000 grant from Silicon Valley Power. Santa Clara University has committed additional financial support to ensure students can complete their studies at the University.

“Santa Clara University is grateful to Silicon Valley Power for partnering with us in this innovative program,” said Santa Clara University President Julie Sullivan, who will speak at the event. “This work furthers our goal to make education accessible to talented students who will become leaders for a more humane, just, and sustainable world.”

Cities, nonprofits, and businesses are in need of professionals with applied knowledge about clean energy, climate change mitigation, and climate resiliency rooted in environmental and social justice, noted Lindsey Kalkbrenner, director of Santa Clara’s Center for Sustainability. “This program will help our students graduate from SCU conversant in current sustainability challenges and solutions, and give them a leg up in this vital employment field,” she said.

The five-year program, approved in June, will provide scholarships and fellowships to up to 35 future leaders in sustainability, clean energy and related fields. Four students a year will receive scholarships for sustainability-related studies at Santa Clara; and three students a year will receive fellowships to fund applied research through SCU’s Center for Sustainability. Students will be better prepared for professions such as sustainability officers or analysts at companies or government agencies; environmental, health and safety management; or sustainability management positions.

“Silicon Valley Power’s vision includes creating innovative and creative energy solutions for a resilient and sustainable community,” said SVP’s chief electric utility officer, Manuel Pineda. “This program will help create a pipeline of talented, ethical, and committed sustainability leaders of tomorrow through education and experience in this field.”

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