Celebrating LGBTQ+ Youth and Inclusivity

Edison International recently sponsored Los Angeles LGBT Center’s STEM scholarships and the Model of Pride conference for LGBTQ+ youth.
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Stories : People
Stories : People

Celebrating LGBTQ+ Youth and Inclusivity

Edison International recently sponsored Los Angeles LGBT Center’s STEM scholarships and the Model of Pride conference for LGBTQ+ youth.
Photo Credit: Sally Jeun

Angela Olivares, 21, wants to make a difference in her community, specifically for LGBTQ+ people in healthcare settings, and make sure they have equal access and resources.

The University of California, Riverside senior majoring in biochemistry with an emphasis in medical science was recently awarded a Los Angeles LGBT Center and Edison International LifeWorks STEM scholarship.

“Most of my professors, colleagues and peers don’t look like me, especially as a queer woman of color,” she said. “This is the first scholarship that I won specifically for queer people in STEM, which is really different for me.”

Olivares hopes to break down these barriers for other LGBTQ+ people by being a role model. “I want to show people they do belong in these spaces and can be strong,” she said.

Jonathan Gutierrez, 15, introduces himself during Southern California Edison's workshop on building a personal brand and career preparation.
Jonathan Gutierrez, 15, introduces himself during Southern California Edison's workshop on building a personal brand and career preparation.

Edison International was also a sponsor of Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Model of Pride, the largest free conference for LBGTQ youth and allies. The full-day event offered over 150 workshops, a college and career fair and a dance party at Los Angeles City College.

“We’re so happy to be working with Edison International, not just on the Models of Pride conference but also with our scholarship program for STEAM students who are majoring in majors where LGBTQ+ people are underrepresented,” said Daniel Perez, the director of Models of Pride.

At the recent event, Greg Gonzales, Southern California Edison senior manager of Talent Acquisition, Human Resources, gave a workshop on how to build a personal brand and provided tips on job and interview preparation, resume writing, creating a LinkedIn profile and a 30-second elevator pitch.

The workshop resonated particularly with Jonathan Gutierrez, 15, an Esteban E. Torres High School sophomore looking to get a part-time job. He plans to use his new interviewing skills soon when he applies for jobs at the two supermarkets near his home in East Los Angeles.

“I want to start off working at somewhere small so I can start saving up for college,” he said.

Olivares, 21, serves as a resident advisor for UCR's LGBTQ+ residence hall
Olivares, 21, serves as a resident advisor for UCR's LGBTQ+ residence hall

Luis Lopez, an SCE senior analyst in Generation and president of Lighthouse, SCE’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, also volunteered at the event. He has been married to his partner for over two decades and has been out in the workplace for most of his career, including 14 years at SCE.

“It’s important to me to bring my whole self to work,” said Lopez. “I find that by telling people that I’m comfortable being in a safe space, people recognize and accept me as the person that I am without having to hide.”

He hopes that young kids know they can be themselves and aspire to be engineers, doctors or lawyers, and there are opportunities for them in companies that embrace their diversity.

Olivares encourages others to speak up and be an ally of communities they may not be a part of.

“It can be as easy as learning inclusive language,” she said.

For information about SCE careers, visit edisoncareers.com. For high school seniors seeking STEM scholarships, visit edisonscholars.com to apply for the 2020 Edison Scholars $40,000 college scholarships by Dec. 16.

Edison International’s support of charitable causes is funded entirely by shareholders. SCE customers’ utility bill payments do not fund company donations.