Posted on January 27, 2014

PG&E Seeks Applicants for 2014 Bright Minds Scholarship Program

SAN FRANCISCO – As part of its ongoing commitment to education and powering California’s future, PG&E today (Jan. 27) announced the launch of its third annual PG&E Bright Minds Scholarship program.

PG&E will award scholarships to enable high school, college and vocational students to complete their higher education paths. The scholarship is also available to individuals who are not currently students, but who are interested in returning to school. Bright Minds Scholarship winners will receive up to $20,000 per year for up to five years; program finalists will receive $2,000 toward their studies.

PG&E's Jesus Soto Jr., left, and Tony Earley, right, congratulate Tayo Olukoya as a 2013 Bright Minds Scholarship winner. (Currents archive photo.)

“PG&E has provided nearly $60 million toward educational initiatives over the last decade, and we are proud to continue supporting the educational goals of students as part of our commitment to support the communities where we live and work,” said Ezra Garrett, vice president of community relations and chief sustainability officer for PG&E. “By awarding scholarships to accomplished students, PG&E is creating opportunities for today’s students to reach their full potential tomorrow.”

The PG&E Bright Minds Scholarships are awarded based on a combined demonstration of community leadership, personal triumph, financial need and academic achievement. Students studying all majors are eligible to apply with preference given to those majoring in engineering and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies. Eligible students must be enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program at a two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire 2014-2015 academic year.

“As a 2013 PG&E Bright Minds Scholarship recipient, I am able to fully focus my attention on my studies, which is helping me achieve my educational goals,” said Carlos Corona. “As I start my junior year at Fresno State, I am incredibly grateful to PG&E for supporting me and turning my higher education aspirations into a reality.”

In addition to Corona, a U.S. Army veteran, last year’s scholarship recipients were:

  • Omotayo “Tayo” Olukoya of Hayward. He is pursuing electrical engineering at UC Berkeley.
  • Evy Peng of San Francisco. She is attending UC Berkeley and studying social welfare in hopes of helping under-served immigrants.
  • Christina Taft of Paradise. She is attending Chico State and hopes to become a nurse.
  • Sierra MacLeod of Galt. She is attending UCLA and plans to study mechanical engineering.
  • Aaron Sproul of Bakersfield. He is studying mathematics at Cal State Bakersfield.
  • Daniel Hardin of Menlo Park. He attends San Francisco State and wants to be a civil rights attorney.
  • Laura Onate Solis of Clearlake.  She is studying biology at UC Davis and hopes to become a pediatrician.
  • Danny Wong of Oakdale. He is studying mathematics at UCLA.
  • Emma Phillips of San Luis Obispo. She is studying neuroscience at Brown University.

Last year’s winners were told during surprise announcements at their schools or other locations. (Click here to see a video highlighting all of the 2013 winners.) The scholars are from diverse backgrounds — including a student who had been homeless and another who cares for his blind father and younger sister – but all share a determination to succeed.

Laura Onate Solis hears the good news that she had won a 2013 PG&E Bright Minds Scholarship. (Currents archive photo)

More than 6,000 applications were received last year and, in addition to the 10 winners, more than 90 finalists received smaller awards.

The deadline to apply for PG&E’s Bright Minds Scholarship is Feb. 28, 2014. For more information and application requirements, click here. Scholarship winners will be announced in the spring.

Meanwhile, the application deadline is quickly approaching for up to $6,000 in individual scholarships offered by PG&E’s Employee Resource Groups. In 2013, these groups – representing PG&E’s diverse workforce – gave out a record $319,000 in scholarships to 175 deserving students. The deadline to apply is Feb. 16, 2014. Details are provided here.

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