Thank You National Grid!

Shania Matthews is taking summer classes at OCC thanks to National Grid's generous support.
Shania Matthews is taking summer classes at OCC thanks to National Grid’s generous support.

National Grid’s commitment to education is making a significant impact at Onondaga Community College. The electricity and natural gas utility is contributing $15,000 to support summer learning in STEM-related fields. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

National Grid’s support is assisting both college and high school-aged students on the OCC campus. Eight OCC students enrolled in the STEM Scholars program are taking summer classes part-time thanks to $5,000 from National Grid. The funding covers nearly 60% of tuition and fees, making it possible for these students to stay on track with their degree requirements. Scholarship recipients say this wouldn’t be possible without National Grid’s support.

“Your generous assistance allows me to take the class “Nuclear Operation Fundamentals” at Nine Mile Point this summer, opening a career path to become a licensed nuclear operator. Without this class I would not have had that opportunity. Thank you!”   -Ashley Haskins, Nuclear Technology and Electrical Engineering Technology dual major, Sandy Creek High School Class of 2008

“I am so grateful to receive assistance with my summer courses. It has lifted a heavy burden off my shoulders!”   -Haley Hurst, Mathematics & Science major, Port Byron High School Class of 2015

“I’m very grateful for the financial assistance. Getting my classes paid for without going into debt is extremely helpful. It allows me to focus on school and not have to worry about getting a job to pay for my classes. Thank you for all of your help!”   -Shania Matthews, Mathematics & Science major, Homeschooled

“The financial assistance I’ve received here has been tremendous and has provided relief from the pressure to work full-time to pay for school.”   –Tori Field, Mathematics & Science major, Skaneateles High School Class of 2014

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“The support was so important because if I would have paid out of pocket for summer classes I wouldn’t have been able to afford books in the fall. I really appreciate it.”   -Natalia Montilla, Engineering Science major, Nottingham High School Class of 2015

“The financial support was amazing to receive. It helped me be able to focus on my education instead of having to hold a job during school or worrying about how I would pay for school. I couldn’t be more grateful to have received this scholarship.”   -Cassidy Ratray, Mathematics & Science major, Mynderse Academy (Seneca Falls) Class of 2015

“I always thought college would be a problem financially. Scholarships have helped pay for school and cut back on the number of hours I work.”   -Jerry Tingley, Computer Studies major, East Syracuse Minoa High School Class of 2015

“The financial assistance I’ve received is one of the big reasons I chose OCC. The fact someone is generous enough to sponsor students like myself in STEM-related fields really motivates me to do well in my classes.”   -Sydney McCombie, Environmental Technology major, Mexico High School Class of 2015

“It is so rewarding to see the impact National Grid’s support is having upon our students. These summer scholarships offer a tremendous benefit to our students who have a strong desire to succeed but limited resources,” said Lisa Moore, Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the OCC Foundation.

“The summer support that our STEM Scholars program receives from the OCC Foundation and from generous donors is immense.  I cannot thank National Grid enough for their generous donation.  The students are so appreciative for the opportunity to continue progress towards completion of their degrees in the summer without the worry of needing to work to pay the summer tuition,” said Associate Professor of Biology Maryann Page who oversees the College’s STEM Scholars program.

OCC’s highly successful STEM Scholars program is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Acceptance into the program is both merit-based and need-based. Selected STEM scholars receive scholarships up to $5,000 per semester, and are also supported by peer mentors, faculty mentors, and are encouraged to engage in internship opportunities that will prepare them for their transfer and career choices. To be eligible students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours, a burden too heavy for most during summer months. National Grid’s support covers students’ part-time coursework during the summer.

National Grid’s generosity is also helping high school-aged students this summer. The utility has donated $10,000 which is being used to fund STEM camp during the last week of July on the OCC campus.

Interested in making a difference in the life of a student? Contact the OCC Foundation at (315) 498-6060 or

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