Liberty Power, the nation's largest owner-operated retail electricity supplier, and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Bright Horizons Scholarship.
The Bright Horizons Scholarship was established in 2013 when Liberty Power co-founders David Hernandez and Alberto Daire, committed $100,000 over five years to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USHCCF). The scholarship was created to support and reward high-achieving college students currently pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with a passion of pursuing a career in energy and the environment.
With nearly 700 applications submitted, the final three winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of policymakers and business leaders within the energy industry, previous Bright Horizons Scholarship winners, the USHCC Foundation, and a collective vote from Liberty Power team members.
The three winners were awarded a total of $20,000 and recognized at the Closing Gala on October 3rdat the USHCC's National Convention in Dallas, TX.
"This is the 5th year the USHCC Foundation has partnered with Liberty Power on this scholarship and we are honored for the opportunity to help empower the next generation of leaders," said USHCC Foundation Chairman, Nina Vaca. "Fostering future trailblazers and encouraging education and growth is our mission and we are proud to support the Bright Horizons Scholarship."
The grand prize, a $10,000 scholarship, was awarded to Allan Castellon-Perez, a third-year student at the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign, working toward an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering.
"This scholarship not only reminds me that I have taken positive steps toward my career goals, but it also serves as a motivator for me to continue the hard work," Castellon-Perez stated. "As a civil engineer, I desire to work on new 'green building' construction projects. With sustainability in mind, these buildings will have lasting economic, social and environmental effects," Castellon-Perez added.
The $6,000 scholarship was awarded to Jennyfer Register, a third-year undergraduate student at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN majoring in Biology.
"After completing my undergraduate degree," Register stated, "I intend to complete a PhD in Biomedical Science to discover links between air pollution levels and mortality and discovering the most efficient way to implement and encourage renewable energy use."
Ebone Ross was awarded the $4,000 scholarship. She is earning her master's degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Environmental Engineering from the University of Miami.
"I strive to be one of the next generation African American, female, civil engineering leaders who will leave a legacy behind," Ross stated, "giving back to my university and my community by developing structures that have the least possible impact on the environment."
Liberty Power co-founders David Hernandez and Alberto Daire said in a joint statement, "Over the past five years, we have received over 2,000 applications for the Bright Horizons Scholarship. We have awarded $100,000 to a diverse group of 16 students from 13 universities across the nation. Liberty Power's team of experts and the USHCC Foundation's experienced team, have been able to successfully collaborate to foster diversity in STEM education and offer financial support to such an inspiring group of young minds and developing leaders. It's our way of giving back – by recognizing and rewarding this next generation of leaders in energy and sustainability. It's our vision and it's our future."
About Liberty Power
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Liberty Power is the largest owner-operated retail electricity provider in the United States based on 2016 DNV GL rankings of electricity retailers. The company is also the first minority-owned electricity provider with a national footprint, and the largest Hispanic-owned energy company in the United States according to Hispanic Business magazine. Liberty Powerprovides large and small businesses, government agencies and residential customers with competitively-priced electricity and exceptional customer service. For more information visit www.libertypowercorp.com.
About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The USHCC Foundation is committed to giving Hispanic entrepreneurs life-long learning by developing and implementing initiatives and educational campaigns to awaken and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. The Foundation leverages corporate and public support to ensure that existing and aspiring Latino entrepreneurs gain access to and achieve success in the world of business. Visit www.ushccfoundation.org for more information.
About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The USHCC actively promotes the economic growth, development and interests of more than 4.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses that, combined, contribute over $668 billion to the American economy every year. It also advocates on behalf of 260 major American corporations and serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local chambers and business associations nationwide. For more information visit www.ushcc.com.