Over 85 percent of SoCalGas scholarship recipients are minority students majoring in STEM, accounting and finance
LOS ANGELES, June 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced that 25 students from Central and Southern California have been awarded funds from the 2022 SoCalGas Scholarship Program. For the first time, the utility has partnered with Scholarship America® to provide multiyear scholarships for students studying science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), accounting or finance. Scholarships are eligible for renewal for the next three years totaling over $300,000 in available funds. The students were evaluated on their academic achievements, community involvement and personal statements addressing the utility's sustainability actions in support of California's clean energy goals. With 87 percent of this year's recipients identified as minority students, SoCalGas' scholarship program continues to help create new opportunities for diverse and underserved scholarship recipients.
"Education is a key avenue to help people succeed, and these SoCalGas scholarships will help those with the highest needs," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino. "During my decade as a Councilmember and prior career with LAPD, I saw firsthand how education created a path towards a better future for low-income Angelenos."
"We greatly appreciate the ongoing SoCalGas Scholarship Program which paves the way and offers new opportunities for many residents in Kern County," said Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh. "The investment of SoCalGas in higher education and workforce development brings much-needed support in transforming the future of our community."
"I want to thank SoCalGas for always championing our people and helping open doors for many within our communities," said Diahna Garcia-Ruiz, board president at Central Union High School District. "Year after year, I am amazed at what SoCalGas does for our communities. This is a tremendous opportunity for our students who lack financial support – these scholarships will aid them and help drive their future."
"Our youth are the driving force of the future. The goal of our scholarship is to nurture this group and help build the important foundation that will help prepare them for professional opportunities and higher education," said Andy Carrasco, vice president of communications, local government, and community affairs at SoCalGas. "We understand that rising educational costs can be stressful, and we want to help alleviate those worries as much as possible to allow our students a brighter future."
Matthew Torre, a graduate from Patriot High School in Jurupa Valley who will be pursuing a degree in Management Science and Engineering with a minor degree in statistics at Stanford in the fall said, "I am truly honored to be selected for such a prestigious and generous scholarship. It has always been a dream of mine to attend a top University and to do so with the help of this scholarship, is a dream realized for me. I am proud to represent my community and SoCalGas as part of the Stanford Class of 2026."
Aisha Siddiqi, a graduate from Foothill High School who will be pursuing an environmental science degree at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York said, "It's an honor to receive the SoCalGas Scholarship this year. It has been a wonderful adventure so far in pursuing my dreams to help our environment. I cannot wait to expand my knowledge in the coming years at RIT thanks to this scholarship.
Wanda Barahona, a graduate from Augustus Hawkins Critical Design and Gaming High School who will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles with a major in computer science said, "I am so excited to attend college this fall. I've always participated in many extracurriculars throughout high school such as robotics which ultimately helped shaped my love for video games. Thank you to SoCalGas for granting me this scholarship that will allow me to continue pursuing my passions."
Aaron Dukes, a graduate from Bakersfield High who will be attending Bakersfield College with a major in Biology and Chemistry said, "I am grateful for the funds that this scholarship will provide as I continue to pursue my passion in the sciences. Prior to attending college this fall, I was part of the Kern Medical Research Assistant Program – I'm excited to see how my education will help me continue to give back to my community here."
The program is administered by Scholarship America®, the nation's largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance, and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Eligibility for individual programs is determined at the sole discretion of the sponsor, and eligible applications are reviewed by Scholarship America's evaluation team.
Since the program's inception in 2001, the utility has awarded more than 2,200 scholarships totaling over $3 million in funding. Students who plan to attend a community college or trade school will receive a $1,000 scholarship and students who plan to attend a university, or 4-year college will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Awards are renewable for three years or until a bachelor's degree is earned, whichever occurs first, on the basis of satisfactory academic performance for a total of up to $20,000 per recipient.
In 2021, the utility invested $2.3 million in educational programs with over $500,000 spent in funding towards scholarships for students throughout our service territory. SoCalGas' Scholarship Program is part of the company's ASPIRE 2045 sustainability goals to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and the communities it serves, including a commitment to invest $50 million to drive positive change in diverse and underserved communities over the next five years.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines will continue to play a key role in California's clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment.
SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company