Woodlake girl awarded $5K from SoCalGas

Utility announces scholarships totaling $225,000 to 45 students pursuing higher education


LOS ANGELES — A Woodlake graduate is starting off her post-secondary education fueled with a $5,000 scholarship from SoCalGas. 

Earlier this week, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced that Kiara Benavides of Woodlake was among three Central Valley students to receive a $5,000 college scholarship from the utility. SoCalGas’ Scholarship Program is distributing scholarships totaling $225,000 to 45 students this year. Since its creation in 2001, the program has provided more than $2.2 million in scholarship funding to more than 2,500 students. Recipients were evaluated on academic achievement, community involvement, and an essay on climate change. The other students were Dylan Diltz of Visalia and Guadalupe Covarrubias of Bakersfield.

“SoCalGas’ Scholarship Program helps young people continue their education and build a pipeline of diverse future engineers and other professionals who are prepared for the competitive workforce,” said Gillian Wright, chief human resources and administrative officer for SoCalGas. “We believe that a well-educated workforce is essential for a vital and economically healthy Southern California and are thrilled to award scholarships to this group of exceptional students.”

In addition to providing academic scholarships, SoCalGas supports technology-based learning in science, technology, engineering, and math at schools across its service territory. Last year, the company provided nearly $1.3 million in grants to hundreds of educational organizations in Southern California.

SoCalGas also supports clean air, energy, and water initiatives through its Environmental Champions program. This year, the company provided grants totaling more than $500,0000 to 42 nonprofit organizations to implement projects focused on clean air, energy, or water. Since the program’s inception in 2015, it has awarded over 120 grants totaling more than $1.5 million.

SoCalGas is a leader in developing and investing in technologies that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Since 1990, the company’s energy efficiency and rebate programs have reduced emissions equal to taking almost 700,000 cars off the road. SoCalGas is also working to increase the production and use of renewable natural gas, which turns methane emissions into a source of clean energy, as well as heavy-duty trucks fueled by natural gas. The latest advancements in this engine technology can lower greenhouse gas emissions from trucks by 80 percent and reduce air pollution by 90 percent.

About SoCalGas

Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States, providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service to 21.7 million customers in Central and Southern California. Its service territory spans 22,000 square miles from Fresno to the Mexican border, reaching more than 550 communities through 5.9 million meters and 101,000 miles of pipeline. More than 90 percent of Southern California single-family home residents use natural gas for home heat and hot water. In addition, natural gas plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants. 

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