Combating COVID through local investments


Duke Energy Foundation invests in the youth-serving nonprofits and educational organizations to help combat the effects of COVID-19 on students.

While the wide-ranging effects of COVID-19 reverberate across all communities in our state, youth-serving nonprofits and educational organizations continue to orient their focus to countering these effects in communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

This work has been recognized and supported by a significant investment from the Duke Energy Foundation in six Durham-based partner entities.

“The Duke Energy Foundation is proud to be able to invest in six local nonprofits and organizations that are providing the essential resources and support necessary to counteract the consequences that COVID-19 has had on students in Durham. These organizations include: Durham Children’s Initiative, Book Harvest, Eno River Association, the Emily K Center, Student U, and Durham Public Schools,” said Indira Everett, District Manager at Duke Energy.

Durham Children’s Initiative’s (DCI) mission is to create a pipeline of high-quality services spanning from birth through college or career for children, youth, and families living in Durham, North Carolina. Duke Energy’s investment in DCI will help underwrite the cost of its Summer Learning Camps. During these intensive summer sessions, young people who have experienced significant learning loss during a year of virtual instruction will have the opportunity to make important academic and social progress in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Book Harvest

Book Harvest provides an abundance of books and literacy support to Durham’s children and families to ensure that all children are lifelong readers and learners. The Foundation shares their deep commitment to these young learners, and with its continued support, Book Harvest will bring a bounty of developmentally appropriate and culturally inclusive books to thousands of students this summer.

Eno River Association

Duke Energy is continuing its investment in the environment through support of the Eno River Association’s hands-on, feet-wet summer camp programs. Funding from Duke Energy will help the Association set camp fees intentionally low, provide need-based scholarships, and support resources for families where English is a second language. Thanks to funding from Duke Energy, these summer camp programs have traditionally supported 30-50% enrollment by minority and low-income students.

The Emily K Center

The Emily Krzyzewski Center implements four distinct programs designed to build on the academic, career, and leadership potential of students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education. With the generous support of the Duke Energy Foundation, the Emily K Center will be able to expand its Summer Scholars program for elementary and middle school students, allowing incoming students to participate for the first time this year.

Student U

Student U is a community organization that uses the power of education to build a just and equitable Durham. They empower and equip first-generation college students, their families, and educators to become the leaders that will transform Durham. The Duke Energy Foundation’s investment will contribute to building a robust pipeline of STEM-focused programming devoted to capturing the minds of students through hands-on learning and exposure to STEM career paths.

Durham Public Schools

“This grant is going to allow Durham Public Schools to continue to help students reach their limitless potential through innovative education opportunities,” said Dr. Pascal Mubenga, Superintendent of DPS. “I’m excited about the way the grant will bring so many partners together to provide these breakthrough outdoor learning experiences for students who have fallen behind due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to Haley Allen, DCI’s coordinator of communications and volunteers, “It has been an honor for Book Harvest, DCI, Student U, Eno River Association, Emily K Center, and Durham Public Schools to stand in partnership as fellow recipients of Duke Energy Foundation’s investment. The ripple effect of this investment in our young people is felt across our great community, and for that, we are truly grateful.”

For further information, contact:

Durham Children’s Initiative Haley Banks Harwood Allen, Communications and Volunteer Coordinator haley.allen@dci-nc.org

Book Harvest Isabel Geffner, Advancement Director isabel@bookharvest.org

Student U Brandy Luce, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager brandy.luce@studentudurham.org

Eno River Association Emily Hill, Director of Development emily@enoriver.org

Emily K Center Sara Askey, Director of Communications and External Affairs saskey@emilyk.org

Durham Public Schools Karin Beckett, Title IX and Grant Procurement Coordinator karin_beckett@dpsnc.net

Haley Allen is the Communications and Volunteer Coordinator at DCI.


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