SoCal Gas Company awards Crafton Hills College grad with $5,000 scholarship

Photo CHC: Alexander Manjarrez received the $5,000 scholarship to continue his education at UC Riverside.

Recent Crafton Hills College (CHC) grad Alexander Manjarrez has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship from Southern California Gas Company.

Manjarrez is one of the 2021 scholarship recipients of Southern California Gas Company, which selects high-achieving graduating high school seniors and transferring community college students with scholarships from $1,000 to $5,000. To qualify, students must live within the SoCalGas service area, maintain a GPA of at least a 3.0 and demonstrate strong community involvement, among other criteria.

“SoCalGas believes that a well-educated workforce makes good business sense and is essential for a vital and economically healthy Southern California,” said Regional Affairs Manager Robert Visconti, who also serves on the College’s Foundation Board of Directors.

In his scholarship application, Manjarrez outlined his future educational and career plans and the need for the scholarship to continue his education. He said the pandemic had significantly impacted his family, slashing their collective income by 25 percent. Manjarrez put his studies first, although doing so interfered with his ability to continue helping his father manage Rainbow Board and Care, an assisted living facility that was also impacted by COVID-19.

“I stopped working with him so I could focus more on my studies,” Manjarrez said. “It will be tough for me to go back and help him run his business since I will be focusing on my upper division course work at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in Fall 2021.”

Manjarrez is goal-oriented when it comes to mapping out a plan for his studies. His long-term goal is to earn a Master’s degree in computer science at UCR and work as a software developer while continuing to do research on tech-related topics. He also wants to work in a field where he can construct large software systems, something that drew him to his major.

“Research is something that has resonated with me ever since I enrolled at CHC,” Manjarrez said. “I conducted research on image blurs for DEKA, company that specializes in complex problem-solving, and I learned how to run algorithms on MATLAB and met the company’s expectations.”

“Research has taught me that being an effective researcher means being passionate, knowledgeable and prepared,” he said.

Southern California Gas Company is focused on promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Energy Education to improve and support educational opportunities and workforce development in their communities.