SAN FRANCISCO, July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), its ten Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and Pacific Service Employees Association recently awarded $319,000 in scholarships to 175 students from Northern and Central California. Students received scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 in recognition of their demonstrated excellence in leadership, community service and academic achievement. "These well-deserving students reflect the talent and diversity of the communities we serve," said Laura Butler, vice president of talent management and chief diversity officer of PG&E. "Awarding these scholarships is an investment in helping high-performing individuals continue their education and eventually become successful business and community leaders. We wish each student the best of success in their college careers and look forward to seeing their progress in the future." PG&E's ERGs have awarded scholarships to deserving students for more than two decades. The 2013 recipients were chosen from nearly 1,800 applications submitted by college-bound high school seniors and adults continuing their education who live within PG&E's service area, and the scholarships were awarded between May and mid-July. In addition to their academic achievements, this year's recipients displayed a broad range of leadership qualities, are committed to serving their communities and are strong proponents of diversity and inclusion. "The scholarship made a big difference to me and my family – it was really helpful," said Elisabeth Sum, who won a scholarship from PG&E's InspirAsian ERG in 2009 that helped her attend the University of Pennsylvania. Sum was chosen for a summer internship in PG&E in 2012, and was hired this June as a full-time business finance associate analyst after she graduated from college. Last year, the utility's employee resource groups awarded $302,000 in scholarships to help 163 students with their college expenses. Within the past decade, PG&E's ERGs have provided over $3 million in scholarships to over a thousand students in diverse communities. The funds were raised primarily from PG&E employee contributions and ERG fundraising events. Students interested in applying for future PG&E scholarships may visit www.pge.com/scholarships for more information. Diversity and inclusion have long been hallmarks of PG&E's heritage. PG&E currently has 10 ERGs and the Pacific Service Employees Association, which contribute to the personal and professional development of thousands of employees and provide vital opportunities to engage employees in service to diverse communities. The ten ERGs are Access Network, BEA, InspirAsian, Latino, Legacy, NuEnergy, PrideNetwork, Samahan, Veterans, and Women's Network.