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Executives pose with ceremonial check
Members of the Tri-County STEMersion Planning Committee and Claire Gibbons, Power:Ed Executive Director

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. – May 22, 2024 – Dorchester County Economic Development accepted a grant of $25,000, on behalf of Tri-County STEMersion, a nonprofit dedicated to bridging the gap between industry needs and local education by integrating high-demand STEM skills into classrooms.  The funds were provided by Power:Ed, the philanthropic arm of SC Student Loan Corporation, which is a nonprofit lender committed to supporting students and education in South Carolina.

Tri-County STEMersion Planning Committee is excited to report record-breaking enrollment for its 2024 Summer Institute, scheduled for next month. This unprecedented interest underscores the growing recognition of the program's importance in equipping educators with the skills needed to prepare students for STEM careers. The institute aims to enhance educators’ understanding of industry-relevant STEM applications, ensuring that classroom learning aligns with the needs of the modern workforce.

Michelle McDonald, Deputy Director of Dorchester County Economic Development, highlighted the significance of the program’s success: “The record enrollment for the 2024 Summer Institute is a testament to the value that educators and industry leaders place on this initiative. By equipping teachers with hands-on STEM experience and insights from industry professionals, we are enhancing the quality of STEM education in our region. This, in turn, will better prepare our students for future careers in high-demand STEM fields.”

Power:Ed Executive Director Claire Gibbons emphasized the importance of supporting STEM education and career pathways, “Power:Ed is proud to support Tri-County STEMersion, for a second year, and its critical efforts to align STEM curricula in schools with the real-world needs of local employers.”

In FY2023-24 Power:Ed has awarded $1,000,000 in grants to South Carolina education and career readiness nonprofit organizations. In its fiscal fourth quarter, Power:Ed has awarded five grants, including this grant to Dorchester Economic Development Corporation. Grants are administered quarterly, and the next grant funding deadline is July 1, 2024.

The 2024 STEMersion Summer Institute will take place June 17th-21st, with an anticipated continuation of its impactful programs that foster collaboration between educators and industry experts.

About Tri-County STEMersion:
Tri-County STEMersion is a collaborative initiative by Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties aimed at bridging education with industry needs by developing and integrating relevant coursework into classrooms. This effort enhances the pipeline directly into the local workforce. The unique hands-on institute is an immersive summer program for area educators and counselors, offering insights into real-world workplace demands through on-site visits and activities. These experiences are designed to reinforce the essential math, science, and soft skills required for success in various industry professions.  For more information on Tri-County STEMersion visit

About Power:Ed:
Founded in 2019, Power:Ed, the philanthropy of SC Student Loan Corporation is dedicated to creating opportunities for South Carolina’s youth and adults by supporting low-income, minority, and first-generation students; improving access to college and degree completion; and creating pathways to quality workforce opportunities. Organizations serving middle school through post-college talent who are interested in applying for a grant or partnering with Power:Ed, should visit

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