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Shell Oil Donates $100K to High School Scholars Program

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Shell Oil Co. donated $100,000 to a high school scholars program at Princeton University that emphasizes the study of math and science for minorities, the Princeton Packet reported.

Each year, around 100 of the brightest minds from urban and suburban areas -- including Princeton -- gather on the campus for the five-week W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute. The students are immersed in college- and graduate-level courses, seminars and workshops taught by tenured professors from the Ivy League institution. In addition to math and science, subjects covered include history, ethics, self-development, Latino and Caribbean migration, and academic composition.

The institute has been operating for more than 20 years, but gifts such as the $100,000 donation from the Shell Oil Foundation go a long way in securing its future, Sherle Boone, founder of the institute, told the newspaper. "Shell has continued to be a strong partner," he said in a statement. "This new gift allows us to keep the infrastructure in place year-round to plan and operate our engineering academy."

The institute aims to develop participants' life skills, such as leadership and community outreach, while they learn what it's like to attend college for half a semester.

In addition to monetary support, Shell Oil also has donated people resources by providing speakers for seminars at the institute. The engineering academy bears the name of Shell Oil, which over the last four years has given the academy close to $300,000.

For the oil company, the donation is an investment in its future, according to Harold Hatchett, Shell Oil's vice president of investor relations. He said the program helps develop and shape the minds of leaders for the next 50 years.

"We try to invest early in bright young talent throughout the world," Hatchett said. "We hope we have a very positive influence on these kids, and when they come out into the workforce, they'll have an opportunity to look at Shell as part of their foundation."

To date, 1,300 students have successfully completed the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute. Most graduates are either African-American or Latino.

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