October 22, 2010
Danielle McNamara
 (510) 987-0230

Press Release


More than 1,000 engineering and computer science students will benefit from increased services thanks to a grant from Sempra Energy Foundation.


Five Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) centers will get a boost in funding from a $30,000 grant. MESA, an academic preparation and enrichment program, supports students so they can earn degrees in math-based fields.


The grant will be divided equally among the following MESA engineering program centers in Sempra’s service area: San Diego State, Cal State LA, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Long Beach and CSU Fresno. MESA currently serves more than 1,000 students at those five campuses.


The monies were presented this week by Sempra staff including, Joseph Rivera, director of gas engineering for the South California Gas Company and MESA board of directors chair.


“Our company will be facing a crucial hiring gap as a large number of engineers and other technical experts reach retirement age. We will need more educated and trained professionals, especially those who mirror the diversity of the communities we serve, if we are to remain competitive and productive,” Rivera said. “MESA continues to play a critical role in creating a diverse pool of candidates.”


MESA Executive Director Oscar Porter said “Sempra has long been a supporter of MESA, but this is the largest grant MESA has received from the company. The money will help us increase services to nearly half of our centers serving university students.”


MESA, an academic preparation program that each year serves about 20,000 California pre-college, community college and university students who are educationally disadvantaged, is an awarding winning program with a model that works. Seventy percent of MESA high school graduates statewide went directly to college after graduation compared to 48 percent of all California graduates. Sixty percent of MESA students go on to math, science or engineering majors.


Sempra is a worldwide energy company whose California subsidiaries, Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas and Electric, serve 20 million customers in southern and central California. 


For more information about MESA visit


For more information about Sempra visit