2020 Cox Scholars
(Cox Communications photo)

Santa Barbara, Calif. – June 24, 2020 – It was a day of anticipation as Cox Charities Advisory Board members signed onto a video call to surprise high school seniors with scholarships to help defray college costs. Due to state and national social distancing recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19, the internal team at Cox opted to celebrate five recent high school graduates from Santa Barbra virtually.  

This year, Cox Charities awarded a total of $10,000 in scholarships to five students. Cox Charities is the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications and is funded by employee donations, matched by Cox, and overseen by an advisory board consisting of employees who volunteer their time. The donations are used to support the community in the form of scholarships and nonprofit grants. Statewide, Cox Charities has awarded more than $1.7 million in scholarships to date.

“This year has been unprecedented in so many ways for our graduating high school seniors, and we’re excited to bring them some good news during this challenging time,” said Kirsten McLaughlin Market Vice President for Cox Communications in Santa Barbara. “These 2020 Cox Scholars are so deserving of these scholarships, and Cox and our employees are proud to recognize all of their hard work and accomplishments.”

Cox Charities Advisory Board members invited students to participate in video calls to learn about their post-graduation plans and what a scholarship would mean to them. The students were unaware at the start of the calls that they had already been selected as Cox Scholars and were surprised and excited to learn that Cox would be awarding each of them with a scholarship for college.

Cox Charities awards college scholarships to graduating high school seniors across our California service areas, including Orange County, Palos Verdes, San Diego and Santa Barbara. These Cox Scholars are pursuing careers in a STEM related field with a passion for giving back to their community.  For more information on the Cox Scholars program, visit www.coxcharitiesca.org.   

About Cox Communications

Cox Communications is committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through broadband applications and services. The largest private telecom company in America, we proudly serve six million homes and businesses across 18 states. We’re dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities and the characteristics that makes each one unique. Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in 1898 by Governor James M. Cox. 

Meet the 2020 Cox Scholars

The students were selected based on their academic success, community service, leadership and commitment to their education. The 2020 Cox Scholars for the Santa Barbara region are:

Alice Gipe  

Alice Gipe recently graduated from Santa Barbara High School and will be attending the University of California Berkeley in the fall as either an environmental science or conservation and resource studies major. With this degree, she is interested in pursuing environmental law, consulting, lobbying, research or non-profit work. Alice loves art and is a strong believer that it is essential for learning and growing. Her volunteer work is largely driven by this, gravitating towards organizations that value creativity, like the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Santa Barbara High School’s Visual Arts and Design Academy (VADA). 

Emilia Kling  

Emilia Kling recently graduated from Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta and will be attending Western Oregon University this fall. She’s majoring in exercise science, with the intent of becoming a nurse. Her inspiration to volunteer is her desire to help people. She volunteers at the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and COAST (bike to school program).  

Isabella Macioce  

Isabella Macioce recently graduated from Santa Barbara High School will be attending Darmouth University where she’ll be double majoring in physics and english with a concentration in creative writing. She is surrounded by people who need change, want change, and are contributing to change. To Isabella, that energy is irresistible and it inspires her to be a part of this fantastic community and make a difference. Specifically she volunteered with Just Communities and its subdivision Community Leadership Institute, Kids Club (a local church camp held weekly), and Adelaide Charter School (a bilingual small elementary and her alma mater). 

Matthew Pigatti  

Matthew Pigatti recently graduated from Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta and will be attending the University of California Davis this fall. He wants to major in engineering and then become a pilot in the Air Force flying jets. He wants to serve his country in the Air Force and has always had that behavior towards his community as well. He always has taken what he loves and tried to help others that need the help. He taught kids younger than him how to golf during the summers. He also took care of bunnies and guinea pigs at the shelter after his guinea pig Coco died.  

Lauren Robinson  

Lauren Robinson recently graduated from Dos Pueblos High School In Goleta and will be attending the University of California Los Angeles in the fall, double majoring in biology and political science. She hopes to pursue a career in either veterinary medicine or law. Her main inspiration for volunteering is seeing the positive impact that she can make in others’ lives. She loves being able to help people and seeing their appreciation for the time that she uses to benefit the community. She has volunteered many times for the Hope School District for their Kindergarten Success Institute and Hope School’s after-school homework club. Her mom is a teacher and she has always had a soft spot for teaching kids and making personal connections with them. Lauren has also been volunteering at ASAP cat shelter for about a year now. She loves caring for cats that need homes and being able to educate the public about cat care. All three of her cats were adopted from ASAP and she really connects with the cats needing homes there and ASAP’s dedicated volunteers.