April 14, 2011 | last updated May 31, 2012 5:27 pm

NU commits $175K to CT AP scholars

Hartford energy provider Northeast Utilities Inc. is putting up $175,000 to support low-income and minority high schoolers' pursuit of advanced placement courses and is encouraging other community donors to step up.

The Northeast Utilities Foundation support for Project Opening Doors (POD) represents a three-year commitment to students at four high schools in its natural gas and electricity service territories: New Britain High School, Wilby High School in Waterbury, New London High School and Windham High School.

Currently 23 high schools across the state participate in Project Opening Doors. In 2009, its second year of operation, POD students were responsible for 42 percent of the increase in the state's qualifying scores in math, science and English, even though they accounted for only 9 percent of those who took the exams, officials say.

NU says its grant provides full, first-year funding but falls off in the second and third years to encourage participation by other community partners in the four school districts.

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