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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Otterly unusual find

SRP employees rescue baby otter from Arizona Canal

You’ve probably heard about the occasional cat on a power pole or a bird nesting on not-so-safe infrastructure, but we’ve got a new one for you: an otter in a canal.

Three SRP crew members, Craig Boggs, Dave Massie and Joshua Shill, were working on a road by the Arizona Canal last month north of Mesa when they noticed a 4-week-old otter struggling to get out of the drying canal. The otter was too small to use the steps that horses and other animals use to get out of the canal if they fall in, so the crew stepped in.

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