Savannah defines energy as “the source which helps ease everyone’s life, allowing people to work/travel at any time of the day or night. It is an important source that is used in everyone’s life and is crucial to the evolution and growth of technology”
San Antonio native and Fox Tech High School/East Central High school graduate Savannah Lopez is passionate about helping her community. From a young age, her father always encouraged her to pursue her passion, never to give up, and to do whatever it took to accomplish her goals.
Growing up, Savannah’s parents did their best to teach her the importance of conserving energy. They always emphasized the need for conservative practices, like turning off the light when leaving an empty room—or closing the doors and windows when the AC was on. Yet, despite her parent’s best efforts, energy was not much more than an afterthought for Savannah. It was not until elementary school, when her teachers introduced her to the importance of protecting the environment, that our energy systems began to pique her interest. They would explain that “the earth is our home.” And that the natural resources found on our planet are essential to our survival. It was then that she realized her passion for environmental protection, energy, and sustainability.
After hearing a speaker presentation in her high school covering energy and energy careers, she became aware of the fantastic opportunities she had to make a difference in her community. She began investigating degrees, jobs, and schools that would aid her in accomplishing her goals. Finally, following much deliberation, she decided on a Computer Science and Data Analytics degree from St. Mary’s University. As a University that prioritizes the value of the younger generation’s potential to change the course of our future, St. Marys was the top choice for Savannah.
As a first-generation college student, Savannah felt the economic stress of a college degree would negatively impact her ability to focus on her academics. Like many students, she would rely on the generosity of grant and scholarship providers for the duration of her college career. Once introduced to the Smart Energy Education Scholarship from a previous recipient, she knew she was in good hands. Overall, the SEE Scholarship has helped relieve the financial burden of pursuing her university degree and helped her accomplish her goals. However, As someone passionate about energy, she also resonated with Smart Energy Education’s message. She felt excited to be a part of an organization as eager as she was to make a difference.
Savannah’s enlightenment of the consequences of irresponsible energy consumption makes her weary of the planet’s fate. The seeming indifference to taking care of our natural resources has resulted in increased energy prices, failures in our energy grids, and natural disasters. Ultimately, our ever-growing world population will require innovation and dedication to develop the solutions necessary to secure a long and healthy future. Eliminating waste and understanding how harmful products can impact our lives for generations is fundamental.
Savannah is proud to call San Antonio her hometown because of its ability to take an independent path. She describes San Antonio as a unique city due to its “willingness for innovation and dedication to helping others, especially in times of crisis.” If she could change anything about how the world handles its energy resources, it would be the international availability and distribution of energy.
Improving the system and avoiding power failures can be life-saving, especially in extreme weather, which is becoming more prominent due to climate change. Savannah is confident that her generation has the power to make a difference in the community through leadership and education. Friends, peers, and family members can all benefit from learning about energy and the need for continued innovation to provide equal access to all.
As a computer science and data analytics professional, Savannah would like to improve the energy sector by “analyzing how much energy is being consumed and then using the data to create solutions to maximize energy output to customers while reducing unnecessary waste.” Her primary career goal, she explains, is to “utilize my skills in computer science to create a solution that can positively impact our community and to help educate and inspire the future generation to continue on their path towards a cleaner world.”
The Smart Energy Education Scholarship is funded by CPS Energy and Itron, Inc., and managed by the San Antonio Area Foundation.