Voya Financial Inc. announced this week that Amanda Kraft, a teacher at New Mexico International School in Albuquerque, has been chosen to receive a $2,000 grant as part of the company’s 2021 Unsung Heroes awards competition.
The program awards grants to K-12 educators around the country to honor innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects and ability to positively influence the children they teach, organizers said in a news release.
Kraft’s winning teaching idea, “Hydroponic Garden STEM Project,” is designed to help students learn about life science, genetics, chemistry and alternative energy sources through maintaining and caring for the system.
Students breed guppies to learn about genetics; test water’s PH and nitrogen levels; and grow plants to be harvested to eat, according to the release.
“Educators have faced unprecedented challenges during this past year and, more than ever, need support as they work to develop today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders,” said Angela Harrell, Voya’s chief diversity and corporate responsibility officer and president, Voya Foundation.
Voya selects a winning teacher in each state. In addition to the $2,000 award to help fund her program, Kraft will now compete with other finalists for one of the top three prizes: an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 from Voya Financial.