LOS ANGELES, June 10, 2019 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the company will give 68 students from Southern and Central California college scholarships totaling $232,000 in the amounts of $1,000 or $5,000 to help pay for college costs this fall. Since its creation in 2001, SoCalGas’ scholarship program has provided nearly $2.5 million in scholarship funding to more than 2,500 students. Recipients were evaluated on academic achievement, community involvement and an essay about innovations to address California’s greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution reduction goals. Photos of the awards luncheon for the scholars and their families are available here.
“Our scholarship program helps deserving students who are pursuing a college degree with funding to help cover their educational costs. It is imperative that we give students a strong foundation to be equipped for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Gillian Wright, chief human resources and administrative officer for SoCalGas. “SoCalGas is thrilled to award scholarships to these exceptional students as they complete a higher education and prepare for professional careers.”
One of the scholarship winners, Gabriela Maravilla, a senior at Dominguez High School in Compton, will attend Occidental College in Los Angeles to study Psychology. “I realized Occidental was my dream school when I opened the acceptance letter and it brought tears of joy to my eyes. Before getting this economic support, I worried that my decision to attend Oxy would create a financial burden for myself and my family,” said Maravilla. “However, with the help of the SoCalGas scholarship, I feel comfortable with my decision, and I’m so grateful for the support.”
Claudia Carbajal, a recent graduate of Duarte High School, will attend San Francisco State University to study neonatal nursing. “I chose to pursue a career in neonatal nursing because I love working with infants and I am also interested in the medical field. I am passionate about helping others and I can envision myself working in a hospital setting,” said Carbajal. “This scholarship means a lot to me and my family. We are grateful because it helps my education, supplements my financial aid and will help pay for my classes and textbooks.”
Kimberly Miranda-Reyes, a recent graduate from San Fernando High School, will attend Cal State Northridge to major in mechanical engineering. "This scholarship provides me with the opportunity to lift my family socioeconomically, and it allows me to show my dad, who raised my siblings and I, that his efforts made a meaningful difference,” said Miranda-Reyes.
Adrianna Sandoval, a recent graduate of Garey High School in Pomona, was also named as a scholarship recipient and will attend Cal State San Bernardino as a business major. “This scholarship will help advance my education and cover costs of textbooks and other study materials,” said Sandoval. “With the help of this scholarship, I won’t have to ask my family for a loan to help support my education while they also raise my three sisters. This scholarship is an amazing opportunity that not everyone gets. I will take full advantage of this scholarship to expand my educational horizons.”
Kathy Tran, a recent graduate from Savanna High School in Anaheim, will attend the University of California Irvine to study psychology. “Coming from a disadvantaged, divorced and low-income family, every dollar counts. I grew up without luxuries that other kids have. My parents immigrated from Vietnam to create better lives for me and my brother. I want to make them proud. With the language barrier, they struggled to find high paying jobs, so I want them to know that I will be the change in the family,” said Tran. “Being the first generation in my family to attend an American college is a huge milestone that I am excited to conquer. This scholarship is very helpful to furthering my education and brings me one step closer to a successful future.”
Edwin Velasquez, a student at West Los Angeles College in Culver City, will attend Cal State L.A., Los Angeles to study public policy. “Receiving this scholarship allows me to pursue my studies in public policy and administration. It also allows me to become immersed in an academic environment of learning and dedicate myself to acquire my bachelor’s degree from Cal State Los Angeles,” said Velasquez. “As a son of a single immigrant working mother, I have witnessed first-hand the constant worry of trying to make ends meet. This award will support my goal to become one of the first in my family to obtain a bachelor’s degree and be the first man to pull my family out of our socioeconomic disparity."
In addition to providing academic scholarships, SoCalGas supports technology-based learning in science, technology, engineering, and math at schools across the company’s service territory. Last year, the company provided nearly $1.75 million in grants to hundreds of educational organizations in Southern California.
In 2018, SoCalGas invested more than $7.5 million to nearly 1,000 organizations across its service territory, benefiting in part underserved community groups in African American, Hispanic American, Asian Pacific American, and Native American communities. For more information about SoCalGas' charitable giving, please visit the 2018 Community Giving Report.
SoCalGas also supports clean air, energy, and water initiatives through its Environmental Champions program. Last year, SoCalGas awarded nearly $400,000 in grants to 32 nonprofits for projects related to clean air, energy, or water. Since its inception in 2015, the Environmental Champions Initiative, which is funded by Sempra Energy shareholders, has awarded more than 150 grants totaling over $2 million.
Supporting local environmental organizations is part of SoCalGas' vision to the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. As part of that vision, SoCalGas committed to replace 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas’ vision is to be the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply 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 natural gas system infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
Vanessa Skillman, Office of Media and Public Information, SoCalGas, (213) 244-2442, [email protected]