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SAFE offers students job experience, mentoring and scholarship
By Sharon Luther-Minor on April 18, 2014
Jeremy Garcia will graduate from Texas A&M this August with a degree in human resources management — and he already has real world training in his field, thanks to CPS Energy.
The 22-year-old is a product of the CPS Energy Student Assistance for Education, or SAFE program, which helps students reach their potential by bridging the gap between academic and career success.
Garcia is interning in CPS Energy’s human resources department, as he has each summer since 2009.
“CPS Energy has given me some real opportunities,” he said, noting that he’s helped develop training curriculum programs that the company now uses. “It’s really put me ahead of my peers in school.”
In addition to the experience, Garcia also got one-on-one mentoring from professionals in the HR department, and he earned a $5,000 scholarship.
“My mentors really pushed me,” he said. “I like to be challenged, and they challenged me. The SAFE program is going to be a good stepping stone for my career.”
Since SAFE began in 1992, CPS Energy has awarded more than $605,000 in college scholarships to 130 local students. We’ve made that commitment to education because we understand that today’s youth will be the workforce and leaders of tomorrow — they’ll be running businesses, inventing new technology, and overseeing our city and government.
Adam Bolin, a senior at Communications Arts High School, will intern for a second summer in CPS Energy’s Communications Services department, where he’ll continue to be mentored by David Wheeler, CPS Energy manager of communication and infrastructure.
He hopes to become a communications engineer after he graduates from the University of Texas at Austin, where he’s already been accepted.
“I really appreciate the business and engineering experience I’ve gotten so far,” he said.
The program is extremely competitive. Ninety-two high school juniors applied this year, from 37 local high schools. CPS Energy invited 71 of those for interviews, and just six will be selected to participate, said Karen Sanders, SAFE program coordinator.
In addition to those six, who will start the program June 9, six graduating high school seniors (including Bolin) and 12 college students will return to the multi-year program.
“These students are incredible,” said Sanders. “They’re already so dedicated to what they want to do.
“The CPS Energy SAFE program is our investment in the future,” she continued. “We take an active role promoting the education of San Antonio youth because students are the future success of our community.”