The grants are part of the utility’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative
LOS ANGELES – March 16, 2020 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced its donations to the Society of Extraordinary Women (SOEW) and The Pasadena Delta Foundation, Inc. (PDF) with $25,000 grants respectively to provide supplies and services to aid female high school and college minority students pursuing an education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
“SoCalGas strives to create systematic change for racial equality and social justice focused on equality and inclusion. It’s been an amazing opportunity to partner with organizations like the Society of Extraordinary Women and the Pasadena Delta Foundation in driving programs that help support the youth in our communities,” said Jill Huppenbauer, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at SoCalGas. “These funds will help provide materials and resources for these students to help them continue to learn and grow, hopefully allowing them new opportunities to excel.”
“Our exceptional programs at SOEW provide exposure to great opportunities that they would otherwise not have. We’re extremely grateful and proud to partner with SoCalGas to assist our students in need with necessary funding and help make their aspirations a reality,” said Shirley Coates, founder and president of Society of Extraordinary Women. “Through our programs, students are exposed to technology, for now and for the future. They’re able to study subjects such as GIS, mapping, robotics, coding and more, which allows them to discover new opportunities in traditionally male-dominated career paths in STEM and various trades.”
The $25,000 grant provided to SOEW will help expand its Ignite Leadership and STEM Academy program, which encourages middle through high school female students to pursue careers in STEM and GIS, to the Inland Empire. Through this grant, students without internet services were provided access to Spectrum internet and those without access to a computer received notebooks and writing supplies. Additionally, the funds were also used to provide stipends for participating teachers and for the hiring of program coordinators.
“The Ignite Leadership and STEM Academy has changed my life significantly and I’ve been a proud participant since the seventh grade,” said Aleeyah, a freshman at Spelman College. “Being a part of this program has opened many doors that I didn’t even know could be open for me, such as attending flight school to learn how to be a pilot. I just want to thank Mrs. Coates in pushing us to be the best that we can be and helping us grow our confidence. Together, we can achieve more.”
“The Pasadena Delta Foundation, Inc. is excited to present STEM scholarships to underrepresented students in the greater Pasadena area. We are extremely grateful and proud to partner with SoCalGas to provide necessary funding to make these opportunities a possibility for our college students,” said Debra Ward-Samad, president of the Pasadena Delta Foundation, Inc. “These funds will allow our students the financial freedom to pursue their interests in STEM freely.”
The PDF STEM Scholarship program is designed to assist deserving students currently enrolled in a four-year college with a STEM field major by providing scholarships for the completion of their degree, and to further enhance their competitiveness in the workforce. The $25k grant will provide five students with $5,000 scholarships that will be used towards tuition, living expenses, school supplies, study materials and additional courses to further their education.
“I am beyond grateful to be receiving this award from the Pasadena Delta Foundation. I cannot thank the organization enough — the scholarship will be used towards my study materials and help pay for my Spring and Fall tuition,” said Nicole, a freshman at California State University, Northridge. “I am so thankful for this opportunity and extremely appreciative of the support on this exciting journey towards becoming a Mechanical Engineer!”