HOUSTON, Oct. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation and Olle Middle School in Alief Independent School District recently launched the first Innovation Academy in Houston, Texas. This is one of seven Innovation Academies located within the CITGO operational footprint.

Academy programming will introduce and encourage middle school students to explore education and career paths in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). By striving to promote academic leadership and responsibility amongst its students through participation, motivation and competition, students will be inspired and prepared to pursue STEM programs in high school.

HD Chambers, Superintendent of Schools, Alief Independent School District, said CITGO provides students with opportunities for an even more rigorous pathway to a potential career in STEM. "Thanks to CITGO for being such an avid supporter of STEM and giving these middle school students a head start on their way to becoming successful and productive citizens," he said. "The CITGO Innovative Academy at Olle Middle School will teach these students the critical thinking skills they will need along with a strong work ethic to be competitive not only in their high school years but also in their post-secondary pursuits." As part of this grant, CITGO will support classroom equipment, a makerspace, a STEM conference and problem based learning inquiry field trips.

"Olle Middle School gets it. They understand the value of educating the next generation of students in STEM and the importance of preparing students to pursue future STEM career paths," said Larry Elizondo, CITGO General Manager Community Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility and Legislative Affairs. "It is exciting to watch the next generation of STEM professionals engaging in this curriculum now."

The first CITGO Innovation Academy was launched in 2013 at Foy H. Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, which serves as the flagship campus. Since then, three more Innovation Academies have been implemented at Cunningham Middle School and Garcia Elementary School, both in Corpus Christi, and E.K. Key Elementary School in Sulphur, La. Another two were recently approved, one in Lemont, Ill. and one in Houston, Texas.

CITGO Innovation Academies are the cornerstone of the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline. Through the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline, the company actively supports the academic exploration of STEM education in the schools nearby its refineries in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; Lemont, Ill. and its headquarters in Houston, Texas. Since the initiative's inception, CITGO has awarded more than $1.5 million toward programs that promote the importance of STEM education and provide educators with the resources they need.


Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 48 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 749,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the sixth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 5,200 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, please visit www.citgo.com.