The new Hamilton County STEM school has received more than $500,000 in private contributions over the past six months—with the latest coming from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.
The insurance and health care company announced Thursday it was giving $50,000 to the new school, which promotes a collaborative-driven education focused on the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the arts. The magnet school opened its doors in August of last year after receiving $1.85 million in state grant funding to assist in its creation.
Last month, the school's 75 students took their first field trip to the BCBST campus on Cameron Hill. During their visit, students heard from actuaries, accountants and human resource professionals about working in a professional environment.
In a news release, Bill Gracey, CEO of BCBST, said he hoped the gift would go toward helping equip students with skills needed to thrive in the work environment they'll meet in the future.
"The skills we need at our company today are different than they were yesterday, and they'll be different tomorrow," Gracey said. "Exceptional STEM education is critical to the future success of not just our company, but our community, and BlueCross is proud to support these students."
Both Hamilton County Superintendent Rick Smith and STEM Principal Tony Donen thanked BCBST in the release.
The donation is not the first major contribution to be granted to the school in recent months. Last year, local advertising firm AREA203 donated $100,000 to the school, the Suntrust Foundation granted $25,000 to the school and Unum announced a $450,000 grant to help fund programs at the new institution.