The Elgin chapter of FFA received a $7,500 donation Tuesday from NextEra Energy Resources, a Florida-based clean-energy company.
The donation will help FFA cover students’ registration fees for state and national conventions, contest fees and other costs, said Travis Bradshaw, one of the chapter’s advisors.
“With this $7,500, we will be able to provide more opportunities for our students as they compete and travel across the state of Oklahoma and the nation,” he said by phone Wednesday.
Mike Sanders, community outreach director for NextEra, said the company understands how FFA and other youth organizations can help students.
“We just want to be a great community partner and also reach out to our youth,” he said. “Because obviously — I know we’ve heard this before — they’re our future. We really believe in the FFA. We believe in youth programs, and this was our honor to be able to do that.”
Sanders said NextEra has made similar donations to other FFA programs across the state, including a chapter near Rush Springs. The amounts varied, depending on the chapter’s needs.
NextEra has $8 billion dollars’ worth of assets in Oklahoma and plans to build a branch office in the state later this year. Sanders works with site managers in the areas where NextEra does business to find ways to support those communities.
“We do a lot for our state — cheap electricity and things along those lines — but we also know that giving back, we’re fortunate and able to do that,” Sanders said. “So, we want to make sure that we’re great community partners.”
Brian Begley, site manager for NextEra in Rush Springs, said the company was one of the sponsors for the state FFA convention in 2022. That event prompted site managers to contact local FFA chapters — including the Elgin chapter — to find out whether those organizations needed help with anything.
Begley said he got in touch with Bradshaw, who said the chapter needed assistance with various items.
“That’s where it started,” Begley said. “At the site level here, we’re all local — myself and the eight technicians that work here. And so, we’re always looking for some way to help our local groups or clubs out.”