Marathon Petroleum donates $100,000 to education foundation for Native American students

Community News

Salt Lake City, Foundation
Marathon Petroleum presented a $100,000 check to UBTech President Aaron Weight (far right) and other university leaders.

Marathon Petroleum’s Salt Lake City refinery presented a $100,000 grant to the Uintah Basin Technical College (UBTech) Foundation to help students, especially those in the tribal community in Utah, continue their education. Marathon Petroleum representatives from Colorado, North Dakota, Texas and Utah along with Ute Tribe Employment Rights Office (UTERO) employees traveled to UBTech to celebrate the newly established Marathon Petroleum Tuition Gap Funding Program.

“UTERO helps tribal members and their descendants with job placement. Marathon asked how they could help, and I suggested they have a scholarship with UBTech,” said Sheila Wopsock, Director of UTERO.

The UBTech Foundation works with Utah students to change their economic situations by covering the cost of tuition, books, and fees, allowing students the freedom to concentrate on completing their training in welding, electrical technician, construction technology, heavy duty diesel, automation technician, civil drafting technician and energy services. The Ute Tribe subsidizes tuition and fees for many Native American students, but it does not cover costs for all Native American students. The tuition gap funding program will help students continue their education.

“Scholarships like these help me pay my tuition and buy books,” said UBTech Student of the Year, Valirie Serawop, a Ute Tribe student enrolled in the Administrative Assistant program. “It helps me reach my goals. And as we are examples in furthering our education, we build stronger communities.”

Our priority is to invest in workforce initiatives that better prepare individuals for professional success by increasing access to high-quality educational training and career readiness resources inclusive of vocational, technical and skilled trades. The strategic partnership also provides future opportunities for Native American graduates of UBTech to apply for employment with Marathon Petroleum.

“We look forward to seeing UBTech graduates apply,” said Mike Hutton, Area Manager of Operations with Marathon Petroleum. “We look to UBTech as a key resource for recruitment.”

Marathon Petroleum has approximately 120 employees in the Uintah Basin with gas gathering and gas processing operations on tribal land and works closely with tribal leadership. Marathon is constantly looking for top talent. Please visit our website at to learn more about careers at Marathon Petroleum.

For more information on how to enroll at UBTech and apply for this scholarship, please visit