“In Search of Genius” Announces Sponsorship by NRG Energy

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School Support Program to Launch in Waukegan, IL

In Search of Genius

We’re excited to join hands with NRG to help bring home to growing numbers of children and their families the need to now move into cleaner energy and more responsible, ecologically sensitive living.

Capitalizing on a renewed focus on science and technology education among parents, teachers and communities, a STEM education initiative, “In Search of Genius” will receive additional funding from NRG Energy Inc. (NRG), a customer-focused energy company based in Princeton, NJ, with generating facilities in Chicago, Joliet, Pekin, Romeoville and Waukegan, Illinois.

Beginning in February, 2015, In Search of Genius will return to Waukegan School District 60 with weekly, 90 minute STEM and mentoring sessions for fourth graders at, initially, several elementary school locations. The program provides children living in underserved areas with compelling opportunities to cultivate new life skills, explore the worlds of science and to discover their own genius. Weekly, inquiry-based, STEM sessions reward children each week with Smart Money Program Currency for success and good citizenship. At the program's end-of-year inter-school competition, children compete in small school teams for trophies and each child goes home with a bag of creative science toys. Classroom sessions are led by In Search of Genius Science Mentors, often university students with science backgrounds many of whom grew up in the same neighborhoods they are coming back to serve.

According to Founding Director Gerry Walanka, "We welcome this opportunity to partner with NRG, as we start in Waukegan to bring the children of Illinois new and fun STEM education that will now also address the earth sciences including solar, wind and hydroponics. We’re excited to join hands with NRG to help bring home to growing numbers of children and their families the need to now move into cleaner energy and more responsible, ecologically sensitive living."

Jon Baylor, NRG’s VP of Illinois Generation, noted “NRG is pleased to support this very worthwhile program, here in Waukegan. Having strong skills in science and technology are becoming increasingly important in any education, and as an employer we’re always in need of those skills ourselves.” Baylor added “We’re looking forward to working with Gerry and his team as part of NRG’s introduction to the people of Illinois, with whom we want to partner for a cleaner energy future.”

NRG, which took over the assets of the former Midwest Generation in April 2014, announced in August 2014 that it is investing significantly, at no cost to Illinois taxpayers and ratepayers, to clean up and upgrade its Illinois generation fleet. The company is also donating $3 million to develop, install and operate solar power generation in Waukegan and will announce further details about that program in the near future.

About In Search of Genius
The In Search of Genius Foundation (ISOG) was launched in 2007 at the Chicago Premier of NOVA's film Forgotten Genius, which documented the life of Dr. Percy Julian, an African American chemist who helped make cortisone available to millions. ISOG was founded to honor the legacy of unrecognized minority scientists who have, against all odds, excelled in scientific fields and whose discoveries have had a significant impact on all our lives. ISOG strives to help level the playing field through its STEM and mentoring work so that all children have an opportunity to bring their genius into the world and has served more than 3000 children at over 40 Chicago area elementary schools.

About NRG
NRG is leading a customer-driven change in the U.S. energy industry by delivering cleaner and smarter energy choices, while building on the strength of the nation’s largest and most diverse competitive power portfolio. A Fortune 250 company, we create value through reliable and efficient conventional generation while driving innovation in solar and renewable power, electric vehicle ecosystems, carbon capture technology and customer-centric energy solutions. Our retail electricity providers serve almost 3 million residential and commercial customers throughout the country. More information is available at http://www.nrg.com. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy.

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Gerry Walanka
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