HII President and CEO Mike Petters was featured on the Today show’s “People Helping People” segment , which appeared Thursday, Nov. 21 on the program’s website. The segment will be rebroadcast during the Third Hour of Today on Dec. 24.
Watch the video below.
Filmed in Hampton Roads, Virginia, the segment highlights Mike Petters’ ongoing commitment to early childhood education, including the establishment of the HII Scholarship Fund. Also included in the piece will be Mr. Petters’ wife, Nancy Briggs Petters, and a Newport News Shipbuilding employee, Andrew Dowd, along with this wife and two daughters. Both daughters have been recipients of the HII Scholarship Fund for early education. Also featured is Petters talking with employees at the Machine Shop at Newport News Shipbuilding to include Cole Irvine, a Newport News foreman, and Jordan Plogger, an inside machinist apprentice.
Established in 2016, HII Scholarship Fund is funded primarily by Petters declining his annual salary, except for $1. Since its inception, the fund has awarded or renewed 578 scholarships totaling more than $1.5 million for both post-secondary and early childhood education.
Early childhood education has always been an important issue for Mike and Nancy Petters. She is a longtime preschool educator and president of the board of directors for the Downtown Hampton Child Development Center (DHCDC), where a portion of the Today show filming took place.
Following filming at the DHCDC, the Today Show filmed Petters in the machine shop at Newport News. The crew then met with and filmed the Dowd family.
Andrew Dowd, a Newport News foreman, and his wife Ottelia first applied for an early childhood education scholarship for their daughter Emmalyn following a pediatrician’s recommendation to help with speech development. With the scholarship, they were able to enroll her in a preschool program and saw a progression in her speech.
The Dowds also received a scholarship for their other daughter, Ava, to mitigate the burden of paying two preschool tuitions. Prior to the Today Show visit, the family had the opportunity to meet with Petters.
Employees are encouraged to look for the upcoming Today Show segment. Applications for 2020-2021 HII scholarships will open in early 2020. Visit huntingtoningalls.com/employees/hii-scholarship-fund/ for details.