CRESTVIEW Fla. — Supporting the growth of education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields has always been key for any successful workforce development endeavor. That’s why the Gulf Power Foundation is giving $210,000 to the HSU Educational Foundation’s new HSU Innovation Institute North campus located in Crestview at the Northwest Florida State College campus. 

The investment will help the HSU Foundation to expand its Sparks Scholars program, an afterschool, weekend and summer youth training program reaching out to over 1,400 students to help “spark” their interest in STEM education through hand-on experiential activities learning about robotics, cyber security, energy, aviation and coding. 

“The HSU Educational Foundation is committed to developing an inspired talent pipeline to high demand STEM careers, especially in the realm of emerging technologies and innovation,” said Dr. Paul Hsu, founder and chair of the HSU Educational Foundation. “We need strong partners like Gulf Power that know to build a better future, we must invest in our youth today.”   

The money will be used to support this program with lab equipment and supplies, as well as students’ transportation costs to the facility. 

 “The HSU Innovation Institute North facility will provide Sparks Scholars participants, at no cost to themselves, with a unique opportunity to explore a wide scope of STEM fields in a program shaped from an industry employer to student perspective,” said Amanda Negron, executive director of the HSU Foundation. “Gulf Power’s visionary leadership is the catalyst to a promising future for our next generation.” 

The Gulf Power Foundation contribution is among a number of initiatives by the company to bolster workforce development efforts throughout the region. For information about the Sparks Scholars program, please visit  

“We are not just an energy provider, but part of the fabric of Northwest Florida,” said Sandy Sims, director of external relations for Gulf Power. “Gulf Power continues to support our communities where we live and work, and grants from the Gulf Power Foundation are just one way we can help with that. Investing today to provide specialized opportunities in the world of science and innovation helps build a brighter future for our children and our communities.”  

The Gulf Power Foundation has operated for 30 years as an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, partnering and investing in communities throughout Northwest Florida. The Foundation is one of the region’s largest corporate foundations, funded entirely through resources independent of Gulf Power’s customers. Learn more about the Foundation and its quarterly grant program here: