California Water Service Group Awards $80,000 in College Scholarships to Students

California Water Service Group today announced awards totaling $80,000 in college scholarships for students living in the utility’s California, Hawaiʻi, New Mexico, and Washington service areas for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Group selected 12 students for the upcoming academic year; winners were chosen based on outstanding academic achievement, community service, and financial need. Many of the recipients are first-generation college attendees. Four grand-prize recipients were awarded $10,000 scholarships:

    • AiYi Chen, of Stockton, Calif., attends San Jose State University and is studying business administration and accounting.
    • Natalya Chun, from San Mateo, Calif., will attend New York University and will study global and liberal studies.
    • Alejandro Gaytan, of Bakersfield, Calif., will attend Harvard University and will study cognitive science.
    • Maeve Lawson, from Chico, Calif., attends University of California, Berkeley and is studying political economy and political science.

Eight additional winners received $5,000 each:

    • WeiHuan Chen, from Stockton, Calif., attends Stanford University and is studying biology and computer science.
    • Phoebe Henige, of San Carlos, Calif., will attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and will study nutrition.
    • Jose Ivanez, from Bakersfield, Calif., will attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and will study electrical engineering.
    • Megan Kavanaugh, of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., attends George Washington University and is studying business administration.
    • Jacob Liu, from Chico, Calif., will attend University of California, Irvine and will study biological sciences.
    • Mikiala Maynard, from Kahului, Hawaiʻi, is attending University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa and is studying nursing.
    • Tayler Silva, of Belen, N.M., attends University of New Mexico and is studying psychology.
    • Alec Stauffer, from Bainbridge Island, Wash., will attend the University of Wyoming and will study kinesiology and psychology.

“As our customers continue to be devastated by the pandemic, it may be more challenging than ever before for young people to pursue their dreams of higher education. Revamping and increasing our scholarship program to provide more impactful awards is one way during the current health crisis that we are able to better support our local families,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are impressed by the outstanding work and scholastic ability of these students, look forward to seeing the great things they do for their communities in the future.”

The next scholarship cycle will open in the spring of 2021 for students entering or continuing higher education in the fall of 2021. To be eligible for a scholarship, students must live in one of Group’s service areas and plan to enroll in a full-time, undergraduate study program at an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school for the upcoming academic year. To learn more about the program, please visit the scholarship information webpage at California Water Service, Hawaiʻi Water Service, New Mexico Water Service, or Washington Water Service.

The college scholarship program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Scholarships are funded by California Water Service Group’s stockholders, not ratepayers, as part of Group’s philanthropic giving program. To date, Group has awarded $440,000 in scholarships to students through the program.