ROSEMEAD (CNS) – Southern California Gas Co. will award scholarships totaling $232,000 to five dozen Southern and Central California pursuing higher education, the utility announced Tuesday.
The Rosemead-based company said students were evaluated based on academic achievement, community engagement and on an essay about California’s clean energy future. This year, 86% of scholarship recipients were minority students.
“At SoCalGas, we believe that a well-educated workforce is essential for a vital and economically healthy community. That’s why we are proud to contribute to the education of students pursuing higher education through our annual scholarship program,” said Andy Carrasco, vice president of strategy and engagement, and chief environmental officer. “Helping students prepare for their professional careers is part of our commitment toward supporting the communities we serve.”
More than 30 community and nonprofit organizations helped SoCalGas identify the scholarship recipients. Graduating high school students attending a vocational school, technical school or community college will receive $1,000, while transferring community college students and high school graduates attending an accredited four-year college or university will receive $5,000.
Yolanda Carrion, a graduate from South East High School in South Gate, was admitted to USC.
“I am a first-generation student planning to major in public policy at the University of Southern California,” Carrion said. “I am eager to begin to help address the social justice issues that plague my community. For now, it is as a student and in the future, I hope as a community organizer. I am thankful for the new opportunities SoCalGas has awarded me and the continued support from my friends and family.”
Mikhai Davis, a Culver City High School graduate, will attend Santa Monica College.
“This scholarship means so much to me and will be very helpful because it will give me the ability to pay for my books, allowing me to focus more on them than their expenses,” Davis said. “It will help me in my major of business by allowing me not to worry about covering certain expenses. I am very grateful for this opportunity and will use it to broaden my horizons.”
Since its launch in 2001, the SoCalGas scholarship program has provided more than $2.7 million in scholarship funding to more than 2,500 students.
In addition to providing academic scholarships, SoCalGas supports technology-based learning in science, engineering and math at schools across the company’s service territory. Last year, the company provided more than $1.5 million in grants to hundreds of educational organizations in Central and Southern California.