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“First of its kind” solar project breaks ground in Portage

NEO students and teachers ceremoniously break ground on the NEO solar field with Sun
FundED founders Kelly Hipskind (behind sign, left) and Patrick Poer (behind sign, right).

Students and school officials at Neighbors’ Educational Opportunities (NEO) broke ground on a
solar field last Thursday. Working with Sun FundED, a company that specializes in solar
implementation and education services, NEO plans to reduce its environmental impact while also
building critical learning experiences for students.


“We were founded on a commitment to educational equity and doing things a little differently,”
noted NEO’s executive director Rebecca Reiner. “We continue that commitment by immersing
our students in new technologies and preparing them for in-demand careers. This project and
partnership will do just that.”


Beyond becoming the first school in Northwest Indiana to install a solar array, the project is
unique because of the partnership with Sun FundED. Using its School Advocate Program, Sun
FundED acquired the funding and will facilitate the install. NEO will also have access to SAMI
Solar, Sun FundED’s web-based portal that contains lesson plans, projects and trades-centered
information that support STEM education.

Sun FundED founder and Portage native Kelly Hipskind expressed his excitement in seeing the
project come to fruition. “I am thrilled that Sun FundED is building this first-of-its-kind project
back in my hometown. I have so many memories here, and to know that Sun FundED is making
a difference right here in Portage is an honor.”


Construction on the solar field will continue through the fall. NEO and Sun FundED plan to hold
a ribbon cutting when construction is complete. More information about Sun FundED can be
found on their website at http://www.sunfunded.com. Information about the solar field at NEO can be
found at http://www.neoadulted.org/solar.

Neighbors’ Educational Opportunities
NEO’s New Vistas High School and NEO Adult Education
5201 US Hwy 6, Portage, IN 46368
219-850-4448
Contact: Brooke Allen
ballen@neoadulted.org
219-841-6429

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