CITGO Petroleum Corporation offered an Incarnate Word Academy (IWA) student a partial scholarship to attend the college preparatory school as part of its sponsorship of the 145th IWA Annual Gala. Funds raised from the gala are not only financing critical tuition assistance, but also help sustain IWA’s Educational Initiatives Fund, which supports enriched academic and athletic programs, facility and technology enhancements and professional development resources for teachers and other faculty members.

CITGO has been a long-time supporter of IWA and the gala, serving as a sponsor for the last 16 years. As in past years, volunteers from the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery will be on hand to help celebrate the school at this year’s “Paradise Island”-themed event.

Held since 1999, the annual gala is IWA’s signature fundraiser. This year’s celebration featured five auctions and a raffle for a 2016 Nissan Sentra benefiting the Educational Initiatives Fund. The event honored the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, who founded the private Catholic academy in 1871.

“CITGO has participated in the Incarnate Word Academy’s annual gala for many years because the school provides Corpus Christi area students with a rigorous curriculum that enables them to succeed after graduation,” said Art Klein, CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery vice president and general manager. “For 145 years, IWA has helped its students put their best foot forward so that they can make the Corpus Christi community even stronger and more vibrant. We at CITGO are proud to help IWA encourage Corpus Christi students year after year.”

“The support that CITGO has given to Incarnate Word Academy means so much to our faculty, staff, nearly 800 students and their families,” said Sammie Grunwald, president and CEO for Incarnate Word Academy. “This gala supports our students at all levels, from elementary through high school, and the generosity that CITGO has shown as a committed annual sponsor of this event helps ensure that our students can get the best education possible.”

The relationship CITGO has with IWA goes far beyond the annual gala. CITGO also provides IWA High School teachers with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education training to bring back to their classrooms. A sponsor of Moody High School's CITGO Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental & Marine Science, CITGO works hard to bring STEM opportunities to students throughout the Corpus Christi area in an effort to prepare the region’s next generation for the high-tech careers the area provides.