Dreaming big

First-generation college graduate thankful for scholarship

Life has already come full circle in a way for 21-year-old Julia Preston, who this month celebrated her graduation from Arizona State University.

Until just a few years ago, the Ahwatukee resident, born and raised in Arizona, would never have imagined she’d be armed with a college degree in nonprofit and leadership management.

But it’s no small coincidence that she chose that particular degree.

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Growing knowledge

SRP Learning Grant turns Valley 3rd-graders into ‘budding scientists’

Juli Harpole’s third-grade students at Weinberg Elementary School in the Chandler Unified School District have been growing tomatoes, peas, peppers and herbs. Using propagation stations in their recently set up greenhouse, they plant seeds under controlled conditions and then monitor them during the day.

“They water them, they turn the lights and warmers on and off, they’re really just like mothers taking care of their little nursery,” Harpole said. “None of this would have been possible without our partnership with SRP.”

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Guiding dreams

Employee helps teen gain bright future 

SRP employee Angelina Bravo remembers meeting 16-year-old Adriana Hernandez a couple of years ago, a high school student struggling at school, self-admittedly “surrounded by a lot of bad influences.”

Hernandez felt lost. As the only girl with two brothers, she had grown up feeling lonely. She didn’t see much of her mom, who worked long hours as the family’s main provider. And Hernandez, born and raised in Phoenix, wasn’t fluent in English and had to try extra hard in school.

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Giving (and getting) back

Life lessons learned for mom and son as volunteers

SRP employee Joy Rivera volunteers and donates money to two Arizona nonprofits – Autism Speaks and Families Giving Back. In celebration of Arizona Gives Day on April 4, we chatted with Rivera about why she volunteers, and why she makes sure to take her 9-year-old son along. This is the third in a three-part series of stories about how SRP employees give back to the community. You can also read about the volunteer efforts of employees Freddie Dobbins Jr., who supports the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley, and Nancy Brooks, a passionate animal welfare advocate who supports four nonprofits.

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