PG&E Awards Bright Minds Scholarship to Oakland Student

By Tamar Sarkissian

PG&E’s Helen Burt, left, awards a Bright Minds scholarship to James Alexander as Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf looks on. (Photos by Auintard Henderson.)

OAKLAND — PG&E and the City of Oakland, in collaboration with East Bay College Fund, have awarded a PG&E Bright Minds Scholarship to recent high school graduate James Alexander.

“It really means a lot to me,” he said. “I love PG&E for this and also for the work they do in Oakland the East Bay.”


James Alexander is among this year’s Bright Minds Scholarship winners and is the first Oakland student to win the big award.

Alexander credited his success to the support of his mother and grandmother. He made volunteerism and advanced placement courses priorities, and was selected to be a part of the Northern California Delegation of “Think China,” a China-United States Exchange Program. This fall, Alexander will attend the University of California, Irvine, where he will study biology and possibly pursue a career in medicine.

“PG&E is proud to support our local communities and help students succeed in higher education,” said Helen Burt, PG&E senior vice president of corporate affairs. “Providing scholarships to accomplished students like James Alexander allows them to reach their full potential. We are pleased to be a part of James’ journey, and look forward to following his success.”

Also attending the ceremony was Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who credited Alexander as an example of Oakland’s best and brightest students.

“His dedication to his education and community, despite challenges, makes him a role model for other young people,” she said. “We expect great things from James as he starts this new chapter in his life.”

Since the program’s inception in 2012, the PG&E Bright Minds Scholarship Program has committed $3 million in scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $30,000 to 400 students throughout Northern and Central California. The award honors high school, current college students and veterans based on a combined demonstration of community leadership, personal triumph, financial need and academic achievement. Alexander is the first Oakland student to receive a Bright Minds Scholarship of this size.

PG&E has provided more than $60 million toward educational opportunities since 1997. A wide variety of scholarships are also offered through PG&E’s 10 employee resource groups.

This year, PG&E’s resource groups will award $429,000 in scholarships to 176 college-bound students from Northern and Central California. Students interested in applying for future PG&E resource group scholarship programs may visit for more information.

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