CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, March 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation has renewed its commitment to help students at Foy H. Moody High School in Corpus Christi prepare for futures in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM). For several years, CITGO has supported education at the CITGO Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental & Marine Science at Moody High School, one of the highest-ranked schools in the country for STEM courses. The continued assistance from CITGO will allow the Academy to carry on offering students access to unique educational experiences – including field trips, admittance to academic competitions and conferences and educational technology and supplies – as well as professional development for teachers.
Students who participate in the CITGO Innovation Academy, which is one of just 56 Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Academies in the entire state, have the opportunity to take advantage of the school's Gulf Coast location to conduct field research, visit major colleges and universities, participate in co-curricular academic competitions and learn from local scientists and other STEM professionals. Every year, CITGO offers scholarships to select graduating seniors while honoring all CITGO Innovation Academy students, their parents and staff at a Senior Banquet.
The CITGO Innovation Academy has garnered national attention for providing students with a strong STEM experience. Last year, Moody High School Principal Sandra Clement accompanied CITGO Innovation Academy student Natasha Sánchez on a trip to the White House to take part in "Celebrating Innovations in Career and Technical Education," an event highlighting the importance of STEM education. There, Sánchez demonstrated an underwater robot that she built with her CITGO Innovation Academy classmates. Today, Sánchez is a senior planning to pursue mechanical engineering in college, inspired by her White House visit and the education she has received through the Academy.
"A strong background in STEM education is helping to take our students further, opening the door to great career opportunities," said Clement. "Since the CITGO Innovation Academy's inception, nearly 800 students have gone through the program, many of them becoming engineers, computer scientists and professionals in other STEM fields. CITGO commitment to STEM education has been such an important part of making our students' success possible."
Art Klein, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery, said: "CITGO and Moody High School have had a long and successful partnership because we're both committed to ensuring that Corpus Christi students are ready to take on the challenge of careers in STEM-related fields." The CITGO Innovation Academy is providing a strong start for students interested in pursuing a future in science."
CITGO has provided aid to the CITGO Innovation Academy for more than a decade, helping Moody High School become a top school for STEM education. In 2014, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education (NASDCTEc) honored Moody with its Excellence in Action award, recognizing it as the top high school in the nation for STEM programming. Moody was also named a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) "Model School," making Moody one of just six Texas schools to earn that prestigious designation.
"A good education in science, technology, engineering and math is the foundation for a competitive workforce," said CITGO President and CEO Nelson Martinez. "At CITGO, we aim to give schools the resources they need to prepare students for real-world challenges and highly sought-after careers, including many in the refining industry."
In addition to its work with Moody High School, CITGO offers many other practical, hands-on educational opportunities for students and educators interested in math and the sciences. In 2015, CITGO brought teachers from Texas, Illinois and Louisiana aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus with the Ocean Exploration Trust to give them first-hand research and educational experiences that they then took back to their classrooms. CITGO employees from refineries in Corpus Christi, Lake Charles and Lemont are also actively involved in local schools, helping enhance students' STEM education through presentations, career days and other hands-on experiences.
About CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery
The CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery, which celebrated 80 years of operations in 2015, provides more than 1,000 jobs locally, while generating more than $345 million per year in support of the local economy through salaries, services and taxes. In addition to producing high-quality fuels for its network of nearly 5,500 independently owned and operated CITGO branded stations across the country, Corpus Christi refinery employees make a major positive impact on the community. In 2015 alone, CITGO employees in Corpus Christi volunteered more than 2,900 hours of their personal time to local and national charities. Since 2013, the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery and its employees have provided more than 10,000 volunteer hours and approximately $3.3 million in support of community organizations such as United Way, Charlie's Place, Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Miracle League, Catholic Charities, the Special Olympics and a variety of environmental and preservation initiatives, such as the revitalization of the Gateway to Corpus Christi, Hans and Pat Suter Park and Adopt-A-Beach Clean Up. The 80th anniversary of the Corpus Christi Refinery last year was preceded by the 70th anniversary of the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery in 2014 and is being followed by the 90th anniversary of the CITGO Lemont Refinery in 2016, with CITGO facilities marking three significant milestones in three consecutive years. For more information on the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery, visit www.citgorefining.com/corpus-christi.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.
SOURCE CITGO Petroleum Corporation