The Berger Charitable Foundation has contributed to the following charitable initiatives that are in line with the Foundation’s dual mandate of education and community development.
Waterfront Education Solar Cup
The Foundation sponsored the 2018 Waterfront Education Solar Cup. Waterfront Education is a non-profit organization in Redondo Beach, California, dedicated to providing unique STEM and STEAM educational experiences on marine environment and conservation. The Solar Cup is a seven-month-long educational program in which high school teams learn about water conservation and renewable energy by building and racing a solar powered boat during a three-day challenge. Two Louis Berger engineers served as team mentors throughout the course of the program. The team won 1st place in the rookie division for the sprint race and 5th place overall.
Riverkeeper Sweep 2018
Louis Berger has a long history of working on water quality and restoration projects within the Hudson River watershed, including over 20 years working on the Hudson River PCB superfund site. The Berger Charitable Foundation was among the sponsors of the seventh annual Riverkeeper Sweep. Louis Berger employees joined more than 2,000 volunteers to help clean up the Hudson River and its surrounding shores. Louis Berger volunteers removed trash and invasive species and repaired a stone wall at four different project sites. Sweep volunteers collectively planted or maintained about 100 trees, removed hundreds of pounds of invasive species, and removed over 32 tons of trash, 6,000 pounds of recyclable materials, and 156 tires.
Stevens Institute of Technology
The Foundation is a supporter of the senior design class in the civil, ocean and environmental engineering department at Stevens Institute of Technology, which offers real world projects for students to analyze, solve and design with guidance from a Louis Berger civil engineer and Stevens Institute alum. Four talented seniors recently completed a project involving demolition of existing structures followed by design and construction of a new elementary school. In addition to a presentation of their efforts to be held at Louis Berger, the students showcased their work at the Stevens Innovation Expo, an annual event highlighting student design, innovation and entrepreneurship. The Expo is the capstone of the Stevens undergraduate experience and the culmination of an education focused on problem-solving, multi-disciplinary thinking and teamwork.
Veterans are and have long been important in the makeup, culture and leadership of Louis Berger. In recognition of that importance, the Berger Charitable Foundation is lending its support to VeteransNavigator, an organization that provides a one-stop hub for Virginia veterans and their families, providing support, answers and vital links to the community. The Foundation is underwriting production of a video to encourage people to participate in their yearly Mindful Memorial Day event and promote VeteransNavigator as a resource for veterans.
Bridges to Prosperity
The Berger Charitable Foundation has partnered with American Bridge to build a pedestrian bridge in rural Panama. The bridge-building project is organized and overseen by Bridges to Prosperity, a non-profit organization that partners with local governments to connect rural communities via pedestrian bridges. A team of 10 volunteers from Louis Berger and American Bridge will travel to rural Los Cruces, Panama, to build a much needed community bridge.
Girls in Engineering Day
The Foundation lent its support to efforts led by Women@LouisBerger and the company to generate interest in STEM (particularly engineering) among middle and high school girls. This included two showings of DREAM BIG, Engineering Our World, the heartfelt story of human ingenuity, shown in IMAX theaters across the country. The first showing was part of a Girls’ Engineering Workshop held at Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle Charter School in New York City. The second event was held at Mount Olive, N.J., High School, where 180 girls from eight middle and high schools viewed the movie followed by an hour-long panel discussion with five of Louis Berger’s top female engineers and scientists. To cap off each event, Foundation and company representatives worked with students to solve an urban planning problem.
Youth participation in the 2018 Cities Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cities IPCC) Cities and Climate Change Science Conference
The Berger Charitable Foundation sponsored the participation of student delegates in the 2018 Cities IPCC Cities and Climate Change Science Conference in Edmonton, Canada, and a workshop leading up to it. The workshop was the culmination of efforts to promote a global conversation and collaboration among students around the world who are vitally concerned with climate change issues. Following an intensive three-month exchange, an international delegation of youth from participating cities produced a "White Paper on Climate Change" for presentation at the conference.
New Jersey Institute of Technology Graduate Fellowship Program
The Berger Charitable Foundation is providing financial support to two graduate students from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) pursuing a Master’s degree in civil engineering, environmental engineering, architecture, engineering management, mechanical engineering or industrial engineering. The three-year program comprises a comprehensive fellowship award and a professional summer internship at Louis Berger. Each year, graduate students submit applications, from which two are selected as that year’s Louis Berger Graduate Fellows.
International Road Federation Fellowship Program
Building on the legacy of Dr. Louis Berger, who supported the International Road Federation (IRF) for 25 years, the Berger Charitable Foundation contributed to the International Road Education Foundation Fellowship Program to support international undergraduate and graduate students attending U.S. universities. Helen Karla Ramalho Farias Pinto, who is pursuing Master of Science and doctorate degrees in civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern University, is the recipient of the 2018 scholarship. Supporting the education of international students studying engineering was of great importance to Dr. Berger and Fred Berger, whose bequest helps fund the Foundation’s activities.
Benjamin M. Wenger Virginia Tech Beyond Boundaries Scholars Program
The Berger Charitable Foundation established a scholarship program with Virginia Tech University in honor of Ben Wenger, a promising young engineer who passed away in September 2017. Ben Wenger joined Louis Berger in 2015 soon after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Virginia Tech. He was the third in the Wenger family to work at Louis Berger, following his brother and his father, Fred Wenger III. The donation will support students studying engineering through the Beyond Boundaries Scholars Program, which provides financial aid support to high-achieving, under-represented, under-served, and first-generation college students attending Virginia Tech.
Give Back matching donation to Red Cross / Red Crescent disaster relief efforts
In 2017, the Berger Charitable Foundation matched employee donations dollar-for-dollar from the Louis Berger annual Give Back campaign. The combined $60,000 contribution to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies supported communities affected by the 2017 hurricane season in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.