HOUSTON, Dec. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation presented twenty scholarships to the recipients of its inaugural CITGO Innovation Scholarship Program, an initiative within the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline. Each student will receive a $2,000 scholarship for undergraduate study. The awards may be renewed for up to three additional years, or until undergraduate studies are completed.

"We support many social responsibility initiatives, but helping to send aspiring students to college is among the most gratifying," said Rafael Gomez, CITGO Vice President of Government and Public Affairs. "Today's recipients have proven their aptitude, their leadership and their commitment to community. These are tomorrow's leaders. We are honored to help them fulfill their potential and look forward to what they achieve."

Each recipient was selected on the basis of academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, work experience, an essay, unusual personal or family circumstances, and an outside appraisal. Of the 20 recipients, 16 are the first in their family to attend college.

This year's recipients are:

  • Dustin Acosta of Houston, Texas
  • Saad Al Hasan of Houston, Texas
  • Anetor Asibor of Cypress, Texas
  • Noah Berry of Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Dylan Black of Houston, Texas
  • Josue Cardenas of Houston, Texas
  • Hunter Cartwright of Mathis, Texas
  • Adrian Chavez of Houston, Texas
  • Melissa Collingsworth of Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Giovani Escalon of Houston, Texas
  • Oluwaseun Fenuyi of Houston, Texas
  • Alexis Gervasio of Houston, Texas
  • Kafia Hersi of Houston, Texas
  • Mustafa Lambay of Sugarland, Texas
  • Paul Lopez of Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Pedro Lopez of Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Hannah May of Porter, Texas
  • Bolivar Morales of Houston, Texas
  • Ruby Pohlers of Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Alejandro Pozo of Katy, Texas

"Congratulations to all of the recipients," added Gomez. "We will be watching your academic and professional careers with great interest. Hopefully, some of you even end up as colleagues here at CITGO!"

CITGO launched the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline program in 2016. This initiative partners with educational organizations near the company's operational areas to increase access to educational opportunities in STEM. The program promotes the importance of STEM education to the socioeconomic development of our communities and highlights the numerous pathways to rewarding careers, including those in the energy industry. It provides grants to schools and educational organizations to support programs that increase student interest, retention and graduation rates – particularly at the high school and post-secondary levels – and those that prepare students for STEM technical and university level curriculum. The program also provides scholarships for students pursuing higher degrees in STEM fields. To date, the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline has already benefited more than 35,000 students and educators across the CITGO operational footprint, strengthening the communities where the company has a presence.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 48 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 749,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the sixth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 5,200 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com