LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Southern California Gas Co. announced Monday that 56 students from Central and Southern California this year will receive a share of about $235,000 in college scholarships.
Students who plan to attend a community college or trade school were awarded $1,000 scholarships and those who plan to attend a four-year college or university were awarded $5,000 scholarships. This year, 86% of the recipients were students of color.
Since the program's inception in 2001, the utility has awarded more than $2.9 million in scholarships to more than 2,270 students, who are evaluated on their academic achievements, community involvement and a personal statement regarding California's clean energy future.
Students majoring in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), accounting and finance are given priority.
"The future of our communities is tied to a highly skilled and educated workforce. It's important that we provide students with the support to build a strong foundation that will prepare them for higher education and opportunities,'' said Andy Carrasco, vice president of communications, local government and community affairs at SoCalGas. "Our communities are a vital part of our organization, and we believe strongly in nurturing the younger generation for a brighter future.''
Recipients include Melea Earley, a graduate of La Serna High School in Whittier who will be attending Howard University with a major in environmental studies and a minor in African American studies.
"I am excited to address how social justice issues can relate, and impact environmental issues in society today,'' she said. "Thankfully with the opportunities and scholarship given to me by SoCalGas, I will be able to use it to further my research as I plan on tackling the injustices of environmental racism in the future.''
Briana Mercado, a graduate from Warren High School in Downey who will be studying mechanical engineering at Caltech, said she "cannot wait to participate in research that will lead to creating more sustainable spacecraft and technology.''
Sharina Batista, a Mt. San Jacinto College graduate who will be pursuing a degree in computer science and cybersecurity at Cal State Fullerton, said the scholarship "means a lot to me. It will help me pay for college while pursuing my dreams.''
In addition to providing academic scholarships, SoCalGas supports technology-based learning in STEM programs for K-12 students across the company's service territory.