Home / Education / BHE Foundation Donates $30,000 to Support the Foundation for Education’s New Esports Initiative

BHE Foundation Donates $30,000 to Support the Foundation for Education’s New Esports Initiative


The Foundation for Education, an auxiliary organization of Imperial County Office of Education (ICOE), is pleased to announce that it has received a $30,000 donation from the Berkshire Hathaway Energy Foundation, which supports its commitment to education. Bari Bean, Marketing and Community Relations Manager of BHE Renewables, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy Business, presented a check to Dr. Todd Finnell, County Superintendent of Schools and President of the Foundation for Education during the Imperial County Office of Education’s Board Meeting on December 11, 2023.

“BHE Foundation is thrilled to donate $30,000 to support education, community enhancement, and rich learning opportunities in the Imperial Valley,” said Bari Bean. “Through this donation, the BHE Foundation will provide funding to ICOE’s Foundation for Education to create a brand-new Esports initiative! The Esports Initiative will work with students, teachers, and members of the community to expand access to Esports and build capacity in Imperial County schools to ensure all children have early and impactful educational experiences,” she added.

Despite the California Interscholastic Federation’s (CIF) official recognition of Esports as a sanctioned CIF sport in 2019, Esports programs remain in their infancy in Imperial County. To address this gap, ICOE is launching a brand-new academic event focused on Esports. 

Ensuring that all students have a variety of early and impactful learning experiences helps foster a more inclusive and engaging educational landscape for all. Through the launch of its arts initiative in the Spring of 2023 and now this new Esports initiative in the Spring of 2024, ICOE hopes to empower students to discover their passions and develop essential skills they need to be prepared for life, college, and career.

Why Esports?

Esports is a growing and popular activity that can provide valuable benefits to students.  Because it is grounded in real-world concepts, such as physics and engineering, Esports can be a valuable tool for teaching students about STEM subjects. Esports can foster cognitive development by enhancing problem-solving, decision-making, and strategic thinking skills. It promotes teamwork, communication, and collaboration as players work together to achieve common goals. It also offers opportunities for leadership development.

“This Esports initiative will be a great addition to ICOE’s series of countywide academic events, and we are extremely grateful for the support of the BHE Foundation which will be instrumental as we launch this exciting new initiative,” said Dr. Todd Finnell, president of the Foundation for Education.

This new annual countywide academic event will be a unique opportunity to promote Esports in Imperial County. Expected to be hosted in the spring of 2024, this event will be added to a series of countywide academic events supported by the Foundation for Education, such as the Spelling Bee, Science Fair, Mock Trial, the Imperial County Arts Festival, and more.

“This very generous donation from the BHE Foundation will support the Foundation for Education’s new Esports initiative. We appreciate the partnership with the BHE Foundation and its commitment to education in Imperial County,” added Dr. Todd Finnell.

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