Portland, ME – To encourage Maine students to pursue studies in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, Nestlé Waters North America, the nation’s leading bottled water company, has pledged $100,000 to support the University of Southern Maine (USM) Pioneers Program.
The USM Pioneers Program is the first college-level STEM honors community in Maine for high-achieving students. Now entering its third year, the Pioneers Program consists of over 30 students engaged in advanced curriculum and highly innovative programming designed to deepen students’ knowledge in STEM and prepare them for careers after graduation.
“We recognize the importance of people entering the workforce well-trained in technology and science. This is relevant to our business, where we have 800 employees in Maine working on specialized equipment, sustainably managing spring sources, and testing quality controls on our products. We support STEM education at the University of Southern Maine for the professional growth of the graduates of this program and for the vital future of Maine’s economy, “said Chairman Kim Jeffery, Nestle′ Waters North America.
The donation from Nestlé Waters North America will be used to cover the student scholarships and costs associated with experiential learning opportunities. USM Pioneers receive competitive four-year scholarship packages, premium housing, a laptop computer, undergraduate research opportunities, internships, and faculty mentors. During their time in the program, students team up with faculty or corporate community partners on projects, work with business incubators and faculty projects, and are placed in internships with Maine businesses – including the Poland Spring Bottling Company, a subsidiary of Nestlé Waters North America.
Andrew Anderson, dean of USM’s College of Science, Technology, and Health, which houses the Pioneers Program, expressed gratitude for Nestlé Waters’ support.
“We are very thankful to Nestlé Waters for their continued investment in STEM at USM,” said Anderson. “Encouraging promising students with an opportunity to pursue their educational and career goals in the STEM disciplines will produce benefits that will come back to the state of Maine. Pioneers students will become Maine’s future job creators, driving innovation-based industries in the state.”
For more information about the USM Pioneers Program, visit http://usm.maine.edu/Pioneers