Recent Oakdale High School graduate Danny Wong was surprised a few days after his graduation ceremony, awarded with a life-changing PG&E Bright Minds scholarship of up to $30,000 a year renewable for up to five years for educational costs. Wong is the first Stanislaus County student to win a Bright Minds Scholarship. He had applied and knew he won a scholarship, but he had no idea of the magnitude until it was announced during a special reception at Oakdale’s Cafe Bliss.
PG&E Representatives, Wong, and his family were present.
The Bright Minds scholarships are part of PG&E’s commitment to the communities it serves. The scholarship, funded by the PG&E Foundation, will help students pay for university tuition, books and supplies, and room and board. High school students will receive renewable full-ride scholarships of up to $30,000 for five years. “Non-traditional” students currently attending post-secondary schools will receive up to $30,000 per year until a certificate, associate’s or bachelor’s degree is earned. Scholarship Management Services served as PG&E’s facilitator for its Bright Minds Program and selected the scholarship recipients.
PG&E Bright Minds is geared toward high-achieving, income-qualified students in communities who have given back to their local community or who have overcome great personal challenges. The program is designed for high school students, transfer students and “non-traditional students” (adults 26 and older that are returning to school) who are enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire 2013-2014 academic year. Preference was given to first-generation college students and those interested in STEM careers. Students were required to reside within the PG&E service area.
Now in its second year, the Bright Minds Scholarship program is the utility’s largest scholarship program ever. As part of its commitment to communities, PG&E renewed its $1 million commitment to this program for the 2013-2014 academic year. A total of 90 winners will receive one time $2,500 scholarships. A total of 10 finalists were chosen to receive a full-ride scholarship of up to $30,000. Full-ride winners from 2012-2013 are eligible to renew their awards. In all, about 6000 students from throughout PG&E’s service area applied this year.