Demonstrating its commitment to the communities it serves, United Cooperative Services yesterday presented $43,000 in scholarship awards to 15 deserving students. The scholarship award program was created to encourage and assist in the educational pursuits of the co-op’s members and their families.
“As a member-owned electric cooperative, United invests in the future of our communities by helping the people we serve realize their higher education dreams,” said United CEO Cameron Smallwood. “As is the case every year, this group of scholarship award recipients demonstrated intelligence, responsibility and passion for improving themselves throughout the competition process,” he added.
More than 20 years ago, United awarded its first scholarships to local high school students and returning college students. In 1997, new funds were made available by House Bill 3203, which allows nonprofit electric cooperatives like United to put unclaimed member dividend funds to use for student scholarships. This change in the law allowed United to take advantage of money previously lost to the state’s general revenue fund and reinvest it locally with a greater and broader impact.
Of the 15 scholarship awards, 12 were in the amount of $2,000, one was $4,000, one was $5,000 and the grand champion won a scholarship award totaling $10,000.
Brealee Toomer – Alvarado High School
Hanna Lisenbe – Cleburne High School
Katie Roberson – Stephenville High School
Shelby Smith – Dallas Baptist University
William Warner – Granbury High School
Rorie Brister – Tolar High School
Desiree Kibbee – Joshua High School
Alejandro Rodriguez – Joshua High School
Christian Smith – Hill College
Trace Jerrett – Brock High School
Samantha Perry – Stephenville High School
Grace Gillespie – Stephenville High School
Norma Vandenberg – Texas State Technical College
Marc Rebeiro – Lingleville School
Isaac Pearson – Acton Pearson Homeschool
To date, more than 930 students have received United scholarship awards totaling more than $1 million. Winners are chosen from numerous applicants area-wide based on financial need, leadership, community involvement, school activities and an interview with an independent panel of judges.