Tucson Electric Power contributed nearly $480,000 to 36 nonprofit groups during the third quarter of 2021, with a focus on education assistance and community support.
TEP funded scholarships for students seeking technical careers and supported conservation awareness, youth mental health and adult literacy efforts. TEP donations also funded field trips that allowed students to experience the arts, helped homeless youth stay in school, expanded early childhood education and increased outreach for job assistance.
TEP’s philanthropic contributions come from corporate resources and are not recovered through customers’ rates. TEP’s community partners use the contributions to sustain programs with measurable success built over many years.
Among TEP investments during the third quarter of 2021:
- $70,000 to Junior Achievement to help students learn about the importance of money management, workforce readiness and entrepreneurial thinking.
- $50,000 to Tucson Values Teachers, a nonprofit that recognizes and supports teaching excellence. Funds supported the Pre-K Educator Support Program, which provides direct support to early childhood educators in Southern Arizona with classroom supplies focused on STEM education, the arts, literacy and technology resources.
- $40,000 to the Educational Enrichment Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting student learning in the Tucson Unified School District.
- $25,000 to El Rio Community Health Center for the “Mission of Hope” Youth Mental Health Project.
- $20,000 to Youth On Their Own, a nonprofit that is a match partner for Giving Tuesday in support of its work to help homeless students stay in school.
- $10,000 to Make Way for Books for their Virtual Story School, a free early reading program for kids ages 3-5.
“Just as the energy sector is undergoing a significant transformation, our education system is similarly helping students build the technical, digital and collaborative skills they’ll need for success in the economy of the future,” said Wendy Erica Werden, TEP’s manager of community investment. “When students are inspired to achieve and innovate, it ensures a better future for all of us.”
Andy Heinemann, CEO of Tucson Values Teachers, said, “The face of education has changed, and in partnership with Tucson Electric Power, we are able to provide the necessary tools, resources and professional learning opportunities teachers need to be successful in the classroom. As business and education work together, we can create greater impact to elevate the teaching profession which in turn creates a prosperous community.”
TEP customers also supported education through TEP Gives, a new pilot program. Every time customers signed up for Budget Billing, e-Bill or Auto Pay in the third quarter, a donation was made to Junior Achievement, topping out at $20,000.
“Junior Achievement’s ability to provide more robust financial literacy and career planning education to supplement our school’s traditional curriculum is directly tied to the support we receive from our community and key partners like Tucson Electric Power,” said Carolyn Gorst, development officer for the Southern District of Junior Achievement of Arizona.
“What I really appreciate about TEP is that they’ve stepped to the plate to address some of the real and immediate needs driven by the pandemic, but they’ve kept their eye on the long-term by continuing to invest in education, knowing it will help our youth succeed as they move forward in their lives.”
TEP focuses on low-income community support in the first and fourth quarters of the year, environment and sustainability in the second quarter, and education in the third quarter, with a focus on social equity throughout the year.
In 2020, TEP assisted 210 charities through financial donations, in-kind support and the contributions of employee volunteers. Although the pandemic limited the ability to attend in-person events last year, volunteers contributed more than 6,800 hours to support important causes. In a typical year, about 25% of employees volunteer in the community, often while wearing the trademark blue TEP volunteer shirts.
Some of the organizations and community projects supported are chosen by TEP’s Community Action Team, an employee-led committee that organizes volunteer and donation activities to benefit the causes closest to their hearts.
Organizations that may be interested in funding, in-kind assistance and volunteers are encouraged to review details at tep.com/community, however, donations are made primarily through an invitation by TEP to apply.
TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to more than 433,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc. (NYSE: FTS), which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean.