Duke Energy commits $300,000 to support internship programs for minority college students

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  • Four organizations receive grants to fund internships.

  • Scholarships aim to create opportunities for careers in energy, government, law, politics.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Duke Energy Foundation today announced a three-year, $300,000 commitment to support internships for college students of color to jumpstart more career opportunities in energy, government, law and politics.

Duke Energy is providing funds to four organizations that will award the scholarships to qualified students: The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Summer Internship Program, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Congressional Internship Program, North Carolina Central University School of Law and the South Carolina Washington Semester Program. These organizations will choose students this spring to participate in virtual summer internship programs in 2021.

Duke Energy’s focus on building a diverse workforce mirrors the communities it serves. This is an intentional effort today and is a sustainable part of our culture for the next generation workforce.

“We all have a role and responsibility to participate in advancing justice and equity. That requires a further commitment to help address the systemic issues our communities face,” said Katherine Neebe, Duke Energy’s vice president, national engagement & strategy, chief sustainability officer and president, Duke Energy Foundation. “We are excited to help support promising young professionals, many who are from the communities we serve, as they learn and grow from their experiences in energy and environmental policy.”  

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

More than 40 years ago, the CBCF initiated its internship program to address the underrepresentation of African Americans in professional staff positions on Capitol Hill. The selected interns gain firsthand leadership experience by working with and learning from members of Congress and other executives in Washington, D.C.

“CBCF is proud to partner with Duke Energy to provide deserving students an opportunity to work on Capitol Hill, directly with members of the Congressional Black Caucus,” said CBCF President and CEO Tonya Veasey. “Students will participate in our summer Congressional Internship Program where they will engage in professional development trainings and be exposed to the process of national policymaking.”

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

The CHCI Congressional Internship Program provides college students with a paid placement in a congressional office, supplemented with focused leadership training one day a week. Promising Latino undergraduates from across the country are selected for this extraordinary leadership training program.

We appreciate Duke Energy’s support for our mission to advance the next generation of Latino leaders,” said Marco A. Davis, CHCI president and CEO. “We are inspired by the students who participate in our Congressional Internship Program. This transformational experience helps our participants continue to evolve as leaders and further contribute to creating positive change in their communities.”

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law

Each summer, law students from NCCU School of Law participate in the school’s public interest internship program. Law students seek out internship opportunities that align with their interest and are supported financially by the program.

"We are thankful to Duke Energy for its newest grant to North Carolina Central University that expands our long-standing partnership to include our School of Law,” said Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., chancellor of North Carolina Central University. “The funding will provide internship opportunities that will introduce our future attorneys to new career opportunities in areas including energy, government and public policy."

South Carolina Washington Semester Program

The South Carolina Washington Semester Program selects students from South Carolina’s colleges and universities to intern mostly in congressional offices during the fall and spring semesters.

“This partnership will enrich the educational experience for students and allows us to intentionally attract, prepare and secure a full-time internship in our nation’s capital for students of color,” said Julie Hutt, director of internship programs and academic advisor, South Carolina Washington Semester Program. “Our recruiting efforts will focus on students from historically Black colleges and universities in the state of South Carolina. Each cohort participating in the program should reflect and support the diverse world around us.”

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts, and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the foundation can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Phil Sgro
Twitter: @DE_PhilSgro