Women Investing in Shepherd (WISH), a women’s giving circle under the auspices of the Shepherd University Foundation and made up of alumnae and community members, awarded two grants to Shepherd projects: the Gateway Program and Robotics. Each will receive $20,625 for programming. Community nonprofit winners were Horses with Hearts and the Shenandoah Women’s Center.
Historically funded through the state of West Virginia, the Gateway Academy has been a cornerstone of the Shepherd experience for more than a quarter of a century. With the state funding now exhausted, the Gateway Academy will utilize the WISH grant to continue to provide the weeklong intensive, pre-college residential program for rising ninth graders in the region to inspire them to pursue higher education.
The Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Engineering will implement a robotics curriculum at Shepherd. It is hoped that these new courses will generate five teams to compete in annual local, national, and international robot competition events. The grant funding will also provide stipends for students who serve as program peer educators, kits and components necessary to construct the robots, and registration fees and supplies for competitions.