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Myriah Brooks, a Virginia Beach native studying business management and finance at the University, was the first recipient of the Virginia Natural Gas Scholarship.

VNG scholarship helps propel local college student through business school

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.— July 8, 2019 — As the old saying goes, the students of today will be our leaders of tomorrow, and Virginia Natural Gas has made a considerable investment at Radford University to make sure local students have the financial means to pursue their educational dreams.

Myriah Brooks, a Virginia Beach native studying business management and finance at the University, was the first recipient of the Virginia Natural Gas Scholarship established in 2018 to assist high-achieving Radford University junior or seniors studying accounting, finance, information technology or STEM-related fields who hail from the company’s service area.

“I was completely surprised when I received the scholarship,” said Brooks, who attended Green Run High School in Virginia Beach. “To say I was shocked would be an understatement.”

The Virginia Natural Gas Scholarship provides $1,000 per semester or $2,000 per year for one or two students each year to the chosen scholars from the Virginia Natural Gas service territory of Chesapeake, Hampton, Hanover, James City, New Kent, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Suffolk, Virginia Beach or York.

“Growing up in Virginia Beach I certainly knew of Virginia Natural Gas, so it was an honor to receive such a big investment from a major company that recognizes students from the local community,” added Brooks.

Currently there are more than 1,000 undergraduate students from VNG’s service area enrolled at the University. The goal of the scholarship is to help students reach their academic dreams.

Another goal, according to Jim Kibler, president of Virginia Natural Gas, is to keep local students local and provide them with opportunities once they graduate.

“We hope to provide an internship opportunity to a selected student each summer as well,” said Kibler. “This is a chance for us to build our talent pool and assist men and women who may want to come back home after graduation. We want to provide opportunity for high-performing students to return to our service area and stay in Virginia.”

Brooks is a prime example. This summer she is interning with the company and learning everything from analyzing numbers and seeing how the sales department designs new gas lines for customers, to working simple clerical tasks and editing web content.

“This is really a wonderful opportunity for me,” said Brooks. “I hope to gain a lot of experience and insight into the daily operations at Virginia Natural Gas and how things work. But I also want to be able to expand my horizons and see the type of jobs that may be of interest to me before I start applying for jobs in the fall of my senior year.”

This wasn’t the only scholarship she received this year. Brooks served as the Student Representative to the Board of Visitors at the University this past year and was surprised when they awarded her with their first ever scholarship during one of the Board’s recent meetings. This scholarship will be awarded to future Student Representatives and is sponsored by the former Rector, Mark Lawrence.

“Both of these scholarships will really help,” said Brooks, who is one of seven children. “I know my parents are really proud of my accomplishments. I now understand that if I put myself out there and get outside my comfort zone, I can compete with anyone and achieve anything.”

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About Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to nearly 300,000 customers in southeast Virginia. Virginia Natural Gas has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers and is consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates. In 2018, Virginia Natural Gas was named Local Distribution Company of the Year by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association for the third consecutive year. For more information, visit virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states and approximately 700,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.

Media Contact:
Rick DelaHaya
o: 757.616.7510 | c: 757.323.7366 | rdelahay@southernco.com