California Water Service Group (Cal Water) today announced that 24 students in its service areas were awarded a total of $60,000 in college scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year. The winners, recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and community service, included two grand-prize recipients each receiving $10,000, along with 10 students who are first-generation college students.
Grand-prize winner Shannon Chen, valedictorian of her Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. high school, is now a freshman studying civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University. While in high school, Shannon was also the winner of the Earthwatch Student Field Research Award, participated in Arctic’s Edge climate change research, and traveled to Bolivia to study the water supply and offer medical assistance.
Jacob Ngo, grand-prize winner and valedictorian of his Salinas, Calif. high school, is a freshman studying immunology and pathogenesis at the University of California, Berkeley. Jacob was a volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as part of its Teen Conservation Leaders Program and was awarded the Key to the Math Department while in high school.
In addition to the top two scholarships, Cal Water awarded 22 scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,500 to students throughout the Group’s California, Hawaii, and Washington service areas.
The scholarship program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Scholarships are funded by Cal Water’s shareholders, not ratepayers, as part of the Group’s philanthropic giving program.
“The drive and dedication of these young adults in our service areas continues to amaze and inspire me year after year,” President and CEO Martin A. Kropelnicki said. “We’re committed to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve, and I’m so proud to be able to help some of our future’s finest achieve their dreams of higher education. I am particularly pleased that so many of these students are trailblazers as the first in their families to pursue higher education.”
To be eligible for a scholarship, students must live in a Cal Water service area, plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or vocational-technical school, and not already possess a degree or diploma from an accredited two- or four-year college or vocational-technical school.
The next scholarship cycle will open in spring 2017 for students pursuing higher education in the fall of 2017. To learn more about the scholarship program, visit the scholarship program web page.