The Clean Power Alliance Voyager Scholarship supports students at seven community colleges throughout Los Angeles County and Ventura County by providing financial aid to scholars enrolled in energy-focused careers, such as electric vehicles and advanced transportation technology, energy and environmental science, and alternative energy.
The goal of the scholarship is to help nurture the growing local renewable energy workforce while developing the next generation of green energy leaders.
The seven community colleges across Los Angeles and Ventura counties that have partnered on this program include Antelope Valley College, Compton College, Moorpark College, Rio Hondo College, Oxnard College, East Los Angles College, and Ventura College.
CPA is excited to share updates on the positive impact the scholarship is having within member agencies’ communities, and we have interviewed several recent recipients to gauge how the program benefits these students and the ways in which it helps prepare them for a career in renewable energy.
“The Voyager Scholarship was my first scholarship, so I was surprised and very happy. It took out a decent chunk of my tuition this academic year, which prevented me from taking out any student loans which I heard are an absolute nightmare.”
“I came to the realization that nature and the deserts are fragile and us as humanity needs to nurture it and be caretakers for our own world and environment. That, plus my affinity for technology really pointed the way to a green career in electric vehicles. If we plan ahead, we can start saving energy little by little, in increments, and that becomes a habit… If we change our habits little by little, it can make a big difference.”
Student at Humboldt College
“I was incredible grateful to receive the CPA Voyager Scholarship. School is going to be a fairly large financial challenge for me to complete and just getting the scholarship significantly helped me with my education. It actually was the deciding factor in me not having to take a private loan out. So I was very grateful for that and I’m not going to pay to pay that incredibly high interest loan back. I’m very thankful.”
Student at Ventura College
“When I was notified that I won the Voyager Scholarship, I was pretty excited because Clean Power Alliance falls right into what I want to do in my career. The scholarship has helped me a lot, quite a bit. It helped me to pay for classes and to pay for textbooks as I learn more about the field of electrical engineering. They’ve helped me a lot this year, especially – reading my textbook caught me up in all my classes that I got behind in earlier. So yeah, it’s been a huge help”
2021 – Elijah Harnar, Humbolt College
2021 – Tony Magaña, Ventura Community College
2022 – Marcos Alvarez, Rio Hondo College
2022 – Sophia Santitoro, Antelope Valley College
Recently, the CPA team sat down with our 2022 award recipients to discuss the motivation for
their academic focus and their renewable energy ambitions:
1. What inspired you to pursue a path in renewable energy?
I went into the army to find a path, I got out and finished my GI Bill. I got an English literature degree, so I was out there writing short stories in the forest. When I finished, I came to the realization that nature and the deserts are fragile and us as humanity needs to nurture it and be caretakers for our own world and environment. That, plus my affinity for technology really pointed the way to a green career and renewable energy, energy electric vehicles and battery technology.
2. Are there any renewable projects that you’ve seen or learned about that have impressed or encouraged you?
I really like the idea of having the solar panels on the California Aqueduct. First of all, this stops evaporation. Second, it makes the solar panels perform better because they’re being cooled off. They can recycle that evaporating water. I think it’s a great infrastructure program and I could cheerlead that.
3. What is some advice you would give to a younger student who is interested in a renewable energy future?
Find something you’re good at and pursue that in this field. If you’re good at media, go out there and try to do something there. Get a journalism degree, start writing, start blogging. If you’re good at being a mechanic, start turning some wrenches. There are grants out there and government funding for our field and the broad green energy umbrella. All we have to do is find our place, find our niche in this field, under this umbrella.
1. What is the connection between soil science and renewable energy?
In some places, you can put solar panels on top of your crops if they like partial shade. With soil, you need to know what’s beneath your foundation before you build a wind turbine. There are some clay minerals that expand when they are wet and shrink down when they are dry. That’ll destroy foundations. I could consult in that area as well.
2. What renewable energy projects impress or encourage you?
Electrifying public transit and using electric vehicles to help prevent blackouts. Living in Southern California with rolling blackouts, hopefully we can allow electric vehicles to discharge into the grid during peak hours will hopefully prevent blackouts.
3. What advice do you have for students who are interested in environmental studies?
Do not be afraid to ask questions. I ask a lot of questions, but it’s because I want to learn. I want to make sure I heard something correctly and most teachers like that. Be able to balance work and life, which can be a struggle. Don’t let assignments creep up on you. Also, take advantage of office hours!
Voyager Launch at CPA Board Meeting: 12121-CAC-Agenda-Packet.pdf (cleanpoweralliance.org)
The CPA Voyager Scholarship Helps Local Students Pursue their Green Energy Ambitions – CPA Voyager Scholarship – Clean Power Alliance
Clean Power Alliance’s Voyager Wind Clean Energy Career Pathways Scholarship Program – Clean Power Alliance’s Voyager Wind Clean Energy Career Pathways Scholarship Program – Clean Power Alliance
Ventura College Foundation Highlighting Scholarship Recipients: Spring 2021 Scholarship Awarding Events – Ventura College Foundation
Moorepark College Scholarship Page – Scholarships Search (ngwebsolutions.com)
2022 Ventura College Scholarship Program – 2022 Ventura College Scholarship Program – Flip eBook Pages 1-50 | AnyFlip
Past Recipient Interview – CPA Voyager Scholarship – Clean Power Alliance
Voyager Scholarship, 2021 Impact Report – annual_report_FINAL_R3_WEB_spreads.pdf (cleanpoweralliance.org)
Voyager Scholarship, 2022 Impact Report – www.cleanpoweralliance.org
Voyager Scholarship, CPA newsletter – Lean. Clean. Green. | News from Clean Power Alliance (campaign-archive.com)
To apply for the scholarship please contact the individual college’s scholarship department, for application and deadlines.