CAMDEN, NJ— A program that provides mentoring, college preparation and academic training in environmental and life sciences for select students in Camden just received a holiday boost from Covanta.

Earlier this month, the sustainable waste management company donated $10,000 to the Center for Aquatic Sciences. The donation was made on behalf of its employees, in lieu of more traditional holiday gifts and cards.

Headquartered in Morristown, Covanta also operates an energy-from-waste facility in Camden. Covanta Camden provides sustainable waste management services to Camden County and generates enough electricity to power 20,000 local homes.

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The company partners with local organizations, such as the Center for Aquatic Sciences, that align with its commitment to sustainability.

Founded in 1989, the Center for Aquatic Sciences advances the understanding of and concern for aquatic animals and their habitats. The Center strives to be a responsible member of the community, assisting in its economic and social redevelopment by providing opportunities for education, enrichment and employment.

The Center’s flagship program is Community and Urban Science Enrichment [CAUSE], a five-year program for select students from Camden that provides mentoring, college preparation and intensive academic training in environmental and life sciences. The program has been extremely successful, boasting a 100 percent high school graduation rate and for the last few years a 100 percent college enrollment rate [up from 95 percent in previous years]. It has also gained local and regional attention as a model for comprehensive, inner-city youth development programs, focusing on immersive academics and mentoring.

Two years ago, Covanta provided a grant to the CAUSE program through the Fishing for Energy partnership to develop a specialized curriculum on marine debris pollution.

“The Center for Aquatic Sciences provides an unmatched opportunity for Camden students to become the environmental and community leaders of tomorrow,” said Kenneth Armellino, director of environmental science and community affairs for Covanta. “Covanta is very pleased to continue its support and partnership with the program that promotes valuable STEM education that will surely lead the children on the path to successful careers.”

In addition to benefiting the Camden community, forgoing physical holiday cards reduces waste and greenhouse gases – equal to eliminating the emissions from combusting 2,000 gallons of gasoline.

“The accomplishments of the CAUSE program and positive impacts it has on these students and the community would not be possible without partnerships and support from companies like Covanta," said Brian DuVall, president and CEO of the Center for Aquatic Sciences.

For more information on Covanta’s community outreach work, visit: http://covanta-csr.com/community-relations/community-partnership-programs/.