SRP invests in the future with help from College Success Arizona
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SRP invests in the future with help from College Success Arizona

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  • Patty Garcia-Likens, SRP Media Relations


College freshman Shawndeena George is pretty happy with her first few months at Northern Arizona University. She’s doing well in her classes, recently changed her major to biomedical sciences and more importantly, gets along with her roommate.

With the help of College Success Arizona, Shawndeena is the first in her family to attend college. Despite being active at Tuba City High School located on the Navajo Nation and graduating with a 4.3 GPA, the reality of college tuition was something her family just couldn’t afford.

SRP invests in the future with help from College Success Arizona 480x244But thanks to a College Success Arizona scholarship funded by Salt River Project, the Native American student has set her sights on becoming a doctor.

Along with financial assistance, all College Success Arizona scholars are required to meet with their success advisers at least twice a semester. In addition to the intensive mentoring, College Success Arizona provides career guidance and professional development activities, an Annual Leadership Symposium, and networking activities through their Scholars Success Network events held on campuses across the state throughout the year.

“I get a lot of help from my mentor. I can email or text him any time with questions about anything,” she said. Shawndeena added she is applying for a four-week program to study science in the United Kingdom – something she might not have known about without that guidance.

“At SRP, providing financial assistance to students like Shawndeena is an investment in the future,” said Rosemary Gannon, SRP Manager of Community Outreach. “SRP operates the Navajo Generating Station located on the Navajo Reservation, so this is also a way to give back to communities in which our employees live and work.”

SRP employee Janet Chee was the first student who was awarded the CSA/SRP scholarship. As the first person in her family to attend college, Chee said the scholarship and mentoring helped guide her when she graduated from ASU with a degree in business management. Chee, who went on to earn a master’s in information management, is an analyst in SRP’s Market Research area.

“I’m very grateful for all the opportunities and mentoring I had in college and now here at SRP,” Chee said.

College Success Arizona relies on corporation contributions from companies like SRP to help pay college tuition costs for students who might otherwise not be able to afford a higher education.

“This is Shawndeena’s first year in our program, but she has already made a significant impression on me,” said Robert Davis, Shawndeena’s Success Adviser. “Shawndeena is a self-motivated, driven student who treats those around her with humble kindness and respect. She will make an exceptional doctor one day. I have no doubt about it.”

For Shawndeena, she’s grateful for the assistance.

“It’s one less thing for me to worry about,” said the NAU Lumberjack.

SRP is a community-based nonprofit utility. It is the third-largest public power utility in the nation, serving more than 1 million electric customers in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. SRP is also the largest provider of water to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually.