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Gift to help city students learn about career options

 A $10,000 gift will help 20 city high school students explore some career options.

Avangrid, the parent company of Rochester Gas & Electric, awarded the scholarship funds to the Urban League’s GEAR UP program.

GEAR UP is a multiyear program that prepares minority and disadvantaged youths for college and beyond. The scholarship money will be used for workshops at Generation Outreach, a local company that teaches middle and high school students about music production, sneaker design and more. 

The Urban League’s Shelia James said Generation Outreach knows how to connect with teens.

“Based on our experience with Generation Outreach, they really understand young urban youth,” James said. “Not only its founder, but its instructors. So we’re very excited.”

Avangrid will issue the scholarships through its philanthropic arm, the Avangrid Foundation. The foundation’s director, Nicole Licata Grant, said donations like this represent Avangrid’s commitment to the United Nations’ Substainable development goals worldwide.

“You have to look for partners who are doing things consistently,” Licata Grant said. “So the sense that these students are a part of a program for up to five years is a model that we’ve seen and supported elsewhere, and it’s incredibly encouraging to us.”

GEAR UP participants at East High School and the Leadership Academy for Young Men will participate in the workshops. The teens will start the five-week courses on Jan. 14.

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.