As the country celebrates and recognizes the contributions, culture and history of Hispanic Americans during National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Duke Energy Foundation is committing $251,000 to support local efforts across Florida.
“Duke Energy serves an increasingly diverse community,” says Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “Not only is it important for us to meet the needs of all of our customers, but it is equally important to support the organizations and efforts that are dedicated to embracing diverse cultures, removing barriers and providing boundless opportunities for our customers and communities.”
The funding will go toward providing personalized business consulting services to Hispanic entrepreneurs and businesses, Hispanic Heritage Month event support, as well as scholarships for Hispanic students in Central Florida, among other local initiatives to uplift communities in Duke Energy Florida’s service territory.
Prospera, an economic development, nonprofit organization specialized in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs, received $100,000 to support its Hispanic Business Initiative Fund, which helps Hispanic individuals and families in Florida’s Central and West Coast regions access economic opportunities and upward mobility through personalized guidance and continuous in-culture, inclusive support.
“We value Duke Energy’s continuous support of our mission and this year’s increased funding will impact our program even more positively, allowing us to assist more Hispanics who own or wish to start a business in Florida,” says Augusto Sanabria, Prospera president and CEO. “Our program empowers underserved individuals and families to help them overcome additional barriers to success, increasing their chances of upward mobility, financial independence, and achieving prosperity, while generating numerous benefits for our community at large.”
Grants were awarded to the following organizations:
- Prospera’s Hispanic Business Initiative Fund – $100,000
- Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando – $75,000
- Hispanic Heritage Network of Orange County (HHNOC) – $25,000
- Local organizations supporting the Hispanic Community in collaboration with Duke Energy Florida’s government and community relations managers – $50,000
- Ceccarelli Rosenberg Foundation in collaboration with Duke Energy Florida’s Latinos Energizing Diversity employee resource group – $1,000
In addition to the recent contributions, the company has an employee resource group, Latinos Energizing Diversity (LED), dedicated to providing educational opportunities about the Latino culture, assisting in the recruitment, retention, engagement and development of Latino employees and helping the company maintain and increase relationships between the company and a growing Latino community.
Throughout the year, the Florida LED chapter actively participates in numerous local events to support initiatives focused on embracing Latino culture and positively impacting communities.