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By Tammye McDuff
Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, congratulated a local Whitney High School senior with the 2016 Edison Scholars, winning a $40,000 scholarship, one of 30 students recognized within Southern California.
Under the guise of a documentary being made about Whitney seniors, Kelton Hardrict, Jr. [KJ] learned of his award April 12, 2016. KJ was told that he was to participate as one of the students being interviewed, “This was the only way we could get his parents involved without letting them know about the award,” said Mr. Bryan Glonchak, Principal. Eric Bradley, SCE Engineer greeted KJ on stage saying, “As a fellow engineer, I am here to honor you as one of the 30 students to receive $40,000.”
Each year, the $1.2 million Edison Scholars Program awards $40,000 scholarships paid over four years to 30 high school seniors who want to become engineers — electrical, mechanical, civil, computer, industrial, computer sciences/info system, environmental or environmental sciences and plan to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering or math, the STEM fields, full time at a four-year college or university.
Glonchak commented, “It is always amazing to celebrate, with our students who accomplish so much. All these years of hard work and dedication to the school and their family result in things like this.”
KJ was selected out of 930 students who applied for the scholarship. His father, Kelton Hardrict, Sr. added, “We are so proud of KJ, he has acceptance letters from Cornell, Harvard, MIT and Yale. This is so amazing.” Glonchak added, “This is the first student in my 15 years at Whitney to receive this award.”
Since 2006, Edison International has awarded $5.3 million in scholarships to 520 students in its service territory. Edison Scholars are also eligible to apply for summer internships at SCE after completing their second year of college.
Tammy Tumbling, Director of Community Investment and Philanthropy, stated, “Edison International is excited to be a part of the celebration today. This is the start of someone’s career. We see Kelton as part of our future work force. He is going away to college to focus on STEM as a study. We believe in investing in the community to create a pipeline from us to our customers and to our future.”
What stood out most in Keltons application were his grades, the fact that he is focusing on STEM and he had a very unique story to tell. “We listened to that need; his parents have worked very hard for him to attend Whitney High School,” said Tumbling, “we wanted to recognize him for his academic accomplishments, his involvement in his school and his unique story about his background.”
Edison International’s support of charitable causes such as the Edison Scholars Program is funded entirely by Edison International shareholders. SCE customers’ utility bill payments do not fund company donations. In addition, dependents of Edison International and SCE employees are not eligible for the Edison Scholars Program.
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