Oil Industry Group Gives 10 Scholarships


A professional organization for the local oil industry has awarded 10 scholarships worth $1,000 apiece to high school graduates from around Ventura County.

The American Petroleum Institute’s California Coastal Chapter, which covers Ventura County and southern Santa Barbara County, gave the $10,000 in scholarships to students to spend at colleges of their choice.

When the institute began its scholarships program in 1985, it targeted students who expressed interest in becoming petroleum engineers or taking other oil industry jobs.


But over the past several years, the organization has broadened its eligibility requirements, said Freddy Daniel, a sales engineer at H&H; Oil Tool Co. in Santa Paula and vice chairman of the local institute chapter.

Now the group awards scholarships based on grade-point averages and scholastic achievements outside the classroom--such as at science fairs. “They don’t have to say I want to grow up to work for Shell Oil Co.,” Daniel said. “We understand they could take it and turn out to be a doctor.”

Next year, Daniel said, the institute will also make scholarships available to students who opt against college in favor of vocational training in welding, machine work and other skills.

Most local members of the petroleum institute are not engineers, Daniel said.

“The people that turn the wrenches and turn the valves and flick the switches are not engineers,” he said. “They’re technicians and operators.”

The year’s scholarship winners are: Rebecca Crews and Benjamin Cordell of St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura; Caleb Coggins of Buena High in Ventura; Ryan Firestone of Camarillo High; Daniel Geis of Santa Paula High; Tim Allen of Hueneme High in Oxnard; Kristina Spraggins of Nordhoff High in Ojai; and Jordan Sickman, Joshua Uretsky and Ryan Gorecki of Moorpark High.