California Water Service Group Awards College Scholarships for Fourth Consecutive Year

$60,000 in Scholarships Awarded to Students in Utility’s Service Areas

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 26, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two students from Bakersfield and Salinas, Calif., were awarded grand-prize scholarships of $10,000 each in California Water Service Group’s (Group) (NYSE:CWT) fourth annual college scholarship cycle, the utility announced today. In total, 22 college students from Group’s California, Hawaii, and Washington service areas received $60,000 for the 2017-2018 academic year. 

The winners were selected based on outstanding academic achievement and community service. In addition to the two top scholarships, awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,500 were given to 20 students, six of whom are first-generation college students.

Grand-prize winner Maria McKenna is a sophomore studying business administration at Bakersfield College. In college, McKenna has been named a President’s Scholar and to the Dean’s List, and was a recipient of the Dana Hilderbrand Merit Scholarship. While attending Bakersfield High School, she was a member of the National Honor Society, president of the French Club/French Honor Society, ASB commissioner of clubs and organization, varsity tennis team member, and varsity swim team captain. Also a member of Bakersfield High’s Virtual Business Program, McKenna placed first in state business plan competition and third in national competition.

Diana Renteria, grand-prize winner from Salinas, Calif., is a junior studying political science at the University of California Los Angeles. A graduate of Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas, Renteria also attended Hartnell College, where she was named to the Hartnell College President’s List and served as a tutor. She was an intern for the Monterey County Health Department and assisted other students as a City of Salinas tutor. Renteria has been an artist at the Urban Arts Collaborative.

“With such pressure on students and the qualifications they need to be recognized by colleges today, I’m inspired that so many students in our service areas continue to rise to the challenge year after year,” said President and CEO Martin A. Kropelnicki. “These dedicated and driven young adults are the future of our communities, and I’m proud to be part of an organization that helps them achieve their dreams of higher education. This is part of what makes our commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve so rewarding.”

To be eligible for a scholarship, students must live in a Group service area, plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or vocational-technical school, and not already possess a degree or diploma from an accredited two- or four-year college or vocational-technical school.

The scholarship program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Scholarships are funded by Cal Water’s stockholders, not ratepayers, as part of the Group’s philanthropic giving program.

The next scholarship cycle will open in the spring of 2018 for students pursuing higher education in the fall of 2018. To learn more about the scholarship program, visit

California Water Service Group is the parent company of California Water Service, Washington Water Service, New Mexico Water Service, Hawaii Water Service, CWS Utility Services, and HWS Utility Services, LLC. Together, these companies provide regulated and non-regulated water service to approximately 2 million people in more than 100 California, Washington, New Mexico, and Hawaii communities. Group's common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CWT." Additional information is available online at