CITGO Innovation Academy Propels Texas Educator and Student to the White House

Jul 8, 2015 10:00 AM ET
Moody High School student Natasha Sanchez demonstrates an underwater robot built by students from the CITGO Innovation Academy

HOUSTON, July 8, 2015 /3BL Media/ – This week, Sandra Clement, principal of the Foy H. Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Natasha Sanchez, a student from Moody High School's CITGO Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental & Marine Science, were invited to the White House for an event highlighting the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. 
First Lady Michelle Obama delivered inspiring remarks during this important educational event hosted by the White House in partnership with the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. Students and educators were selected through a competitive process run by the Association for Career and Technical Education, as well as schools selected by the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education. During the event, Clement spoke on the CITGO Innovation Academy science programs and community partnerships, and Sanchez provided White House officials with a demonstration of an underwater robot built by students from the CITGO Innovation Academy.

“Our students do amazing work through the CITGO Innovation Academy, and we’re so honored to have this work recognized by the White House and First Lady Michelle Obama,” said Clement. “CITGO Innovation Academy’s underwater robot that Natasha demonstrated is a shining example of how we prepare students for college programs and careers in science, and this invitation validates our tireless efforts for these students.” 

For the past 11 years, CITGO has been a proud supporter of Corpus Christi’s CITGO Innovation Academy at Moody High School and its mission to prepare high school students for college programs and careers in STEM. This program includes upper-level engineering, mathematics and science courses. At the forefront of this collaborative partnership is the support that CITGO provides the school to be able to pilot innovative programs like this year’s “All Girls Introduction to Engineering Class” and the “Girls in Engineering Math and Science (GEMS) Conference” among others. Additionally, support extends beyond funding, and includes access to mentors, speakers, and opportunities for students and faculty to engage in environmental projects like CITGO Caring for Our Coast.  As just one example of CITGO’s broad commitment to STEM education, the Innovation Academy has helped CITGO benefit approximately 650 students.

“We realize how important education is not only to the lives of students, but also to the future of our communities and the American workforce,” said Nelson P. Martínez, CITGO president and CEO. “Our partnership with the CITGO Innovation Academy not only expands our commitment to educational initiatives, but also allows students to achieve goals that may not otherwise be possible.”

CITGO helps communities achieve long-lasting sustainability by supporting educational social initiatives that create meaningful impact while addressing some of today’s biggest societal barriers. Its investments aim to empower people who contribute to the progress and economic growth in their own local communities. Other CITGO educational social initiatives include the Bronx Social Programs, work with John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi, university scholarships, Project Infinite Green in Lemont and partnerships with our local school districts.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit