LOS ANGELES, June 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the 2021 SoCalGas Scholarship recipients. This year, 56 students from Central and Southern California will receive a share of the more than $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. Recipients were evaluated on their academic achievements, community involvement and a personal statement regarding California's clean energy future.
Since the program's inception in 2001, the utility has awarded over $2.9 million in scholarships to more than 2,270 students. Students majoring in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), accounting and finance are given priority. This year, 86% of the scholarship recipients were students of color.
"The SoCalGas Scholarship Program has helped bridge the educational gaps within our community and offer our younger generations with the opportunity to learn and develop," said Los Angeles Councilmember Joe Buscaino. "These scholarships will help create systematic change for equality and inclusion within our communities."
"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."
Melea Earley, a graduate from La Serna High School, who will be attending Howard University with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in African American studies said, "I am excited to address how social justice issues can relate, and impact environmental issues in society today. 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 pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology said, "I am very honored to have received the SoCalGas scholarship. I cannot wait to participate in research that will lead to creating more sustainable spacecraft and technology!"
Sharina Batista, a graduate of Mt. San Jacinto College, who will be pursuing a degree in computer science and cybersecurity at California State University, Fullerton, said, "I am grateful for this opportunity. This scholarship means a lot to me. It will help me pay for college while pursuing my dreams."
Kennedy Polk, a graduate of St. Mary's Academy, who will be pursuing a degree in computer science or computer programming at Seattle Pacific University said, "I am so thankful for this scholarship as it will help me buy the necessary requirements to compete with other computer science majors in my field of study. This scholarship will help alleviate some of the financial stress on my mother who has been pushing me to be the best I can be."
In additional to providing academic scholarships, SoCalGas supports technology-based learning in STEM programs for kids in K-12 across the company's service territory. Last year, the company provided nearly $1.8 million in grants to hundreds of educational organizations in Central and Southern California.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean, 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 is committed to achieving 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 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. Over the past five years, the company invested nearly $7.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its pipeline 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.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company