BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Some seniors from Independence High School's energy academy will receive a financial boost to their education after graduation.
The Kern Energy Foundation awarded $5,000 in scholarships to thirteen deserving graduating seniors, according to a news release. The top prize was $1,000 and instructors were also awarded funding to purchase science kits which high school students use when they visit local elementary schools to educate younger students about the importance of energy.
Proceeds for the scholarships were raised through the Kern Energy Festival, an event held last year to educate the community about all aspects of local energy production. Nearly two dozen students from the Independence High School Energy Academy volunteered to work at the Kern Energy Festival. The California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA) served as the premier sponsor to provide seed money for the successful event. The festival was organized by CIPA Board Member Chad Hathaway and the Kern Energy Foundation Board and Committee.
Hathaway, who served on the scholarship selection committee, said, “The caliber of students who applied for the scholarships was outstanding, which also made the selection process difficult for our committee. There’s no doubt that Kern County has a bright energy future thanks to these students. We hope that these scholarships will help encourage students to come back home to Kern County to pursue their energy careers after they complete their studies so that we can continue to be California’s top energy producer.”
Baylei Brown, who has a 4.2-grade point average and is active as a mentor through Link Crew and serves as treasurer of the Black Student Union, earned the top scholarship of $1,000. In her application essay, Brown wrote that she is interested in pursuing a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), “The Independence High School Energy Academy has opened up my mind to the world of energy resources and engineering. I have learned a number of new skills that I plan on using in my life after I graduate.”
Two $500 prizes were each awarded to Rubie Cisneros and Naquore Davis. Cisneros, who is an active youth leader in her church and volunteer at the San Joaquin Community Hospital, maintains a 4.255-grade point average and interned for CIPA member company, Robin’s EnviroVac. Davis, a member of the National Honor Society and who also earned an appointment to West Point U.S. Military Academy, wrote in his application that the Energy Academy taught him how to have confidence in his own potential.
The students will be recognized at the Independence High School Energy Academy Senior Awards night at Hodel’s Country Dining on Tuesday. The event begins at 5 p.m. and the scholarships will be presented at 6:30 p.m. CIPA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, Willie Rivera, will present the awards to the students on behalf of the Kern Energy Foundation.
Students awarded $250 scholarships each are:
· Karla Aparicio
· Anmol Dhalinal
· Shawn Hill
· Shelley Ho
· Sandra Peña
· Christina Pipkin
· Madalyn Searson
· Siera Shaw
· Kimberlie Sullivan
· Jenna Wolfe
CIPA members represent approximately 70 percent of California's total oil production and 90 percent of California's natural gas production.
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