We are working to increase the pipeline of diverse candidates for positions at our company and in our industry, in partnership with local universities and organizations. Through our internship and mentorship programs, we also help to support local economic development and job creation in our communities.
We actively recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds for our college internship program. For example, through partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), we launched a campus ambassador program to establish relationships with diverse student organizations. In 2021, 39% of our summer intern class identified as female, and 51% identified as racially/ethnically diverse. Since 2017, we have hired interns from eight HBCUs and HSIs, and students from these universities represented 14% of interns hired.
We also partner with the nonprofit Genesys Works and Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School to provide professional internships to high school students from underserved communities in the Houston area. Through this program, interns shadow Cheniere employees, develop professional skills and gain work experience to prepare them for college and fulfilling careers. In 2021, 30 high school students — all of whom identified as racially/ethnically diverse and 60% of whom identified as female — participated in the program.
To help develop the local workforce near our Sabine Pass LNG facility, Cheniere helped initiate a mentorship program for high school and early college students from underrepresented groups in Port Arthur, Texas, to develop workplace-relevant skills. In addition, we contributed $21,000 to merit- and needs-based scholarships for engineering students at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, to support increased skill development specific to our industry among local racially/ethnically diverse students. We are also exploring opportunities to enhance the long-term benefits of our apprenticeship program by adding job-shadowing opportunities and recruiting additional community and industry partners.