Florida Power & Light announces first five schools to receive STEM classroom makeover grant as part of larger $2 million, 4-year commitment

Administrators from Cypress Run Education Center in Broward County hold the commemorative “big check” in a classroom they plan to upgrade to a 21st Century learning environment as an inaugural recipient of FPL’s STEM Classroom Makeover Grant. The check was presented on Jan. 14 from Florida Power & Light Company. (Pictured from left to right: Dr. Fany Jabouin, family counselor for Cypress Run Education Center, McKenley Romeo, director of home & business energy solutions for FPL, Juliet Roulhac, director of external affairs for FPL, Dr. Gastrid Harrigan, principal of Cypress Run Education Center and Nordia Barber, mathematics teacher)

Local Broward School Receives $50,000 Classroom Makeover to Advance Racial Equity

Submitted by Katie Kiselewski

     JUNO BEACH, FLA — Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced the names of the inaugural five schools in Florida to receive a Classroom Makeover Grant as part of a $2 million, 4-year commitment from its charitable arm, the NextEra Energy Foundation, to advance STEM curriculum, increase the exposure of Black students to STEM education and jumpstart students’ interest in STEM careers.

Each year through 2024, five schools will be selected in FPL’s service area to receive the $50,000 grant. The grants are intended to provide transformational learning opportunities for Black students in classroom settings, as all recipient schools are comprised of at least 25% Black students. The Classroom Makeover Grant program directly addresses needs in infrastructure, technology, or resources (i.e., software, equipment, books, training of teachers, tutors, paraprofessionals).

“Our STEM Classroom Makeover Grant allows us to invest in our next generation to help provide transformational learning opportunities for Black students in a STEM classroom setting,” said Pamela Rauch, vice president of external affairs and economic development for FPL. “We are excited that these projects will be one of the first, as we complete our inaugural year of implementing this grant, which allows us to support both educators and students, our next generation of leaders.”


More than 30 Florida schools applied in the program’s inaugural year for the grant. FPL’s five classroom makeover grant recipients in Florida for 2022 are:

  • Cypress Run Education Center School: An alternative school in Broward County, this school plans to invest in a multimedia technology lab, web design programs, TV production arrangements, coding software, robotics education and Microsoft certifications.
  • Dan McCarty Middle School: This historic school in St. Lucie County seeks to fill technology gaps through touch panel screens, furniture, STEM lab equipment, mathematics manipulatives and robotics education.
  • Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School: At this Palm Beach County school, this grant will be used toward a variety of professional education resources, including computers, robot lab packs, aerodynamics sets and renewable energy education kits.
  • J.H. Workman Middle School: In Escambia County, this school is home to a unique pipeline program that leads students to George Stone Technical College. With the grant, the school intends to implement a one-of-a-kind aviation program.
  • Rutherford High School: This school in Bay County saw significant impacts during Hurricane Michael and plans to continue recovery using the grant through investment in tablets and 3D printers, among other materials for students.

“We are humbled to be a recipient of the NextEra Energy Foundation’s STEM Classroom Makeover Grant. We have a special student population at Cypress Run,” said Dr. Gastrid Harrigan, principal of Cypress Run Education Center. “We are so grateful that our students’ STEM involvement, education, and school-to-work opportunities will be enriched through this award.”

The makeovers must be complete by Sept. 1, 2022. This grant is open to all public, private and charter schools and all grade levels in FPL’s service area in Florida. Grants are also available through the program to schools in areas served by FPL’s sister company NextEra Energy Resources. As with all foundation grants, no customer dollars are involved.

For more information on the Classroom Makeover Grant and how to apply for 2023 grants, visit FPL.com/Education.



About Carma Henry 22142 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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