Higher education and new opportunities are within reach for 25 exceptional students from Central and Southern California who received funds from the 2022 SoCalGas Scholarship Program. This year, we partnered with Scholarship America® to provide multiyear scholarships for students studying science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), accounting or finance.
Our scholarship program is committed to minimizing the education gap and opening new horizons for individuals within our diverse and underserved communities. Since the program’s inception in 2001, we’ve awarded more than 2,200 scholarships totaling over $3 million in funding. Community college or trade school students will receive a $1,000 scholarship and university or 4-year college students will receive a $5,000 scholarship eligible to be renewed for a total of up to $20,000 per recipient. In total, more than $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded to these 25 students.
"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."
"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.”
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.”
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.