Sonoma Clean Power Awards $15,000 in… | Sonoma Clean Power

Three Sonoma State Students Awarded $5,000 Scholarships

Published on 12/21/2021

Recipients Charles Bottino (left) and Kolby Gleeson (right).

Inaugural Scholarship Supports Students with Financial Need Pursuing Degrees in Energy Management and Related Fields

Sonoma Clean Power recently partnered with the Bay Area nonprofit 10,000 Degrees to provide three Sonoma State University students scholarships for the 2021-2022 school year.

This fall, Charles Bottino (Geography, Environment, and Planning), Kolby Gleeson (Sustainable Communities), and Jean Marie Nshimiyima (Global Studies and Development) were each presented with $5,000 towards the pursuit of their undergraduate degrees.

As part of SCP’s efforts to support education and local workforce development, the annual scholarship program assists students who demonstrate financial need and are studying energy management or a related environmental field.

10,000 Degrees, who administers the scholarship on behalf of SCP, strives to achieve educational equity and support students from low-income backgrounds to, and through, college.

When asked about their motivation to go to college and pursue a degree, each recipient cited their passion for helping both people and the planet.

“There are no other areas in academia that I’m so adamant about contributing to and furthering the necessary progress. Innovations in all disciplines of this department are imperative to address the contemporary issues that the world faces,” said Bottino.

Seeing firsthand, living in California, watching the weather patterns change, the fires, storms around the world, flooding, poverty, inequality, all getting worse by the year, has really motivated me to get into a career that will be able to help people, as well as the Earth."

Kolby Gleeson

Sonoma State Student, Scholarship Recipient

“My previous experience encouraged and motivated me to work with people and to help my community,” said Nshimiyima. “I believe that my career path will contribute to the well-being of society, especially the third world countries and developing areas of different countries around the world.”

With the climate crisis continuing to threaten the safety and health of people and ecosystems across the globe, preparing and empowering the next generation to mitigate its impacts is critical.

“Without the input of our youth, achieving a more sustainable future is only a concept,” said Geof Syphers, CEO of SCP. “But when we invest in education and allow students to propose climate solutions for their own communities, they will most certainly bring the ideas and lead the way. We’re honored to be part of this scholarship program and congratulations to our first round of recipients!”

Students interested in applying for the scholarship next year can visit

In addition to the 10,000 Degrees Scholarship, SCP’s other youth-focused partnerships include the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Grant for Santa Rosa Junior College business students, energy and water education for elementary students led by Sonoma Water, an electric vehicle design and manufacturing kit for local high schools, and training on green building practices for the NextGen Trades Academy.

More about 10,000 Degrees

10,000 Degrees® is the leading, equity-focused scholarship provider and college success nonprofit in California that supports students from low-income backgrounds to and through college. 10,000 Degrees serves more than 12,000 students and their families each year with comprehensive wraparound support, college and financial aid counseling, near-peer alumni coaching, scholarships, and financial aid management.

Unlike most other college success organizations, there is no GPA requirement to participate in 10,000 Degrees programs. Powered by Fellows, near-peer coaches who are recent college graduates and often alum of 10,000 Degrees, they are embedded in high school and college campuses to help students navigate life both on and off-campus and throughout their college success journey. With this innovative support model, 10,000 Degrees achieves unmatched success rates: Over 80% of 10,000 Degrees four-year college students earn bachelor’s degrees, compared to 31% of their peers nationally. 10,000 Degrees community college students transfer to and graduate from four-year colleges at a rate that’s three times the national average. 10,000 Degrees students also graduate with 88% less student loan debt than the national average.

10,000 Degrees operates in seven Bay Area counties – San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Santa Clara – and works in 42 high schools, 40 community colleges, and 166 four-year colleges and universities across the nation. For more information about 10,000 Degrees, please visit