Templeton High student gets $20,000 scholarship surprise from PG&E
By Tracy Correa
At Templeton High School in San Luis Obispo County, Tatiana Overturf got the surprise of her life when she entered a classroom on Friday morning.
When she walked through the door, she was greeted with clapping, balloons and a congratulatory handshake from PG&E Director Pat Mullen. Then she was handed an oversized check as local media cameras zoomed in.
The stunned 18-year-old was the first winner of PG&E Bright Minds Scholarships to be notified this year. In the coming weeks, nine other students in Northern and Central California will learn they too won the $20,000 renewable scholarships.
Overturf was obviously surprised when Mullen told her PG&E selected her from among a competitive field of thousands of applicants. “On behalf of all the 22,000 employees at PG&E, we’re so pleased to tell you you are a Bright Minds Scholar,” said Mullen.
“I’m speechless… And, I normally talk – a lot,” said Overturf, who reached out to hug Mullen.
“I had no clue,” she said of the surprise. “A great financial burden has been lifted. I can sleep a little more soundly. I’m going, ‘Alright, got that problem out of the way.’ ”
Her Mom, Zan Overturf, was also stunned. She was summoned to the school without being told why. The family has worried about how they would pay for college.
“This means all of the things she is sweating will evaporate,” said the overjoyed mom. “This is huge. I will not be able to go home. I’m walking on clouds right now.”
Since the program launched in 2012, the PG&E Bright Minds Scholarship Program has awarded $3 million in scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $30,000. Three hundred students throughout Central and Northern California have received the financial awards from PG&E.
In addition to the $20,000 recipients this year, 90 additional students will receive $2,000 towards to cover their higher education expenses.
The PG&E Bright Minds Scholarship Program is part of the company’s larger commitment to education. Since 1997, PG&E has provided more than $60 million toward educational opportunities for students throughout its service territory.
Mullen said he was proud to kick off this year’s scholarship awards in Templeton and help the Overturfs pay for college.
“As a parent myself… So many of us that work at PG&E know what it costs to send students to college. And, for this student and this family, it’s a life-changing opportunity,” he said.
Templeton High Principal Andrew Cherry said Overturf is a perfect choice for the scholarship because she exemplifies everything that a good student should be. “She is the poster child for something like this. She has an incredible work ethic.”
The 4.0-plus student is active in her school marching and concert band, math club, art club, FFA and is involved in a local fund-raising effort to build a community library in Templeton.
Overturf, who comes from a long line of engineers in her family, will study mechanical engineering at Fresno State. She is now the second Templeton High School student to win a Bright Minds Scholarship. Templeton High alum Craig Martineau was a winner in 2012.
She said she is so happy the scholarship is available to students like her and is grateful to PG&E: “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
E-mail Tracy Correa at Tracy.Correa@pge.com. Source: PG&E