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CITGO Innovation Academy highlights importance of STEM education

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

For the past 11 years, CITGO, a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products, has been a proud supporter of Corpus Christi's CITGO Innovation Academy at Moody High School, Texas. Its mission to prepare high school students for college programmes and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Innovation Academy, which has helped CITGO benefit approximately 650 students, includes upper level engineering, mathematics and science courses.

At the forefront of this collaborative partnership is the support that CITGO provides the school to be able to pilot innovative programmes like this year's ‘All Girls Introduction to Engineering Class’ and the ‘Girls in Engineering Math and Science (GEMS) Conference’ among others. Additionally, support includes access to mentors, speakers, and opportunities for students and faculty to engage in environmental projects such as ‘CITGO Caring for Our Coast’. Other CITGO educational social initiatives include the Bronx social programmes, work with John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi, university scholarships, Project Infinite Green in Lemont and partnerships with local school districts.

"We realise how important education is not only to the lives of students, but also to the future of our communities and the American workforce," said Nelson P. Martinez, CITGO President and CEO. "Our partnership with the CITGO Innovation Academy not only expands our commitment to educational initiatives, but also allows students to achieve goals that may not otherwise be possible."

This week, Sandra Clement, Principal of the Foy H. Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Natasha Sanchez, a student from Moody High School's CITGO Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental & Marine Science, were invited to the White House for an event highlighting the importance of STEM education. First Lady Michelle Obama delivered remarks during the event, hosted in partnership with the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education. Students and educators were selected through a competitive process run by the Association for Career and Technical Education, as well as schools selected by the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education. During the event, Clement spoke on the CITGO Innovation Academy science programmes and community partnerships, and Sanchez provided White House officials with a demonstration of an underwater robot built by students from the CITGO Innovation Academy.

"Our students do amazing work through the CITGO Innovation Academy, and we're so honored to have this work recognised by the White House and First Lady Michelle Obama," said Clement. "CITGO Innovation Academy's underwater robot that Natasha demonstrated is a shining example of how we prepare students for college programmes and careers in science, and this invitation validates our tireless efforts for these students."

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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