Piedmont Natural Gas invests in literacy with grant to YWCA Central Carolinas

Share This Story

  • $50,000 grant to support the YWCA’s Southside Youth Learning Center

  • Funding includes support from Duke Energy

Piedmont Natural Gas today announced a $50,000 grant to YWCA Central Carolinas to support its Southside Youth Learning Center, an after-school program serving low-income youth in grades K-5. Funding included dollars from the Duke Energy Foundation, which coordinates grant making for Piedmont Natural Gas.

The program provides free after-school and full-day programming when school is not in session, including summer break. Through a strong emphasis on literacy and reading comprehension, the program aims to break generational cycles of poverty by empowering children with the knowledge they need for success in school and life. 

“Our learning centers are built upon a mission of bringing about systemic change for youth in high-poverty neighborhoods,” said Kirsten Sikkelee, CEO of YWCA Central Carolinas. “The children in our communities have great potential, and our goal is to ensure they have all the tools necessary to build off this potential and achieve their optimal level of success.”

The YWCA operates 10 learning centers throughout Mecklenburg and Union counties. In addition to their focus on literacy, the learning centers also emphasize important social skills such as conflict resolution, improved decision-making and interaction with positive role models.

“Piedmont Natural Gas is proud to support the YWCA because we believe in the work they’re doing to build and strengthen our communities,” said Barbara Ashford, director of community relations for Piedmont Natural Gas. “This after-school program is providing a strong foundation to help break the cycle of poverty, and we hope this contribution will further their growth and success.”

Piedmont Natural Gas has a strong partnership with the YWCA. In 2016, Piedmont contributed $100,000 to support improvements to the fitness center at YWCA’s 51-year-old campus on Park Road. Additionally, Piedmont has supported the organization through energy efficiency audits, solar panel installation, employee volunteer efforts and other financial support for the organization’s Families Together and Women in Transition programs. Duke Energy also has a legacy of supporting the YWCA’s education programs.

About Piedmont Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas, a North Carolina corporation, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than a million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Piedmont provides a foundation for establishing a broader strategic natural gas infrastructure platform within Duke Energy to supplement and complement the previous natural gas pipeline investments and the natural gas business located in the Midwest.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Stacey Perrow
Piedmont Natural Gas