LPEA awards $102,000 in scholarships to nine local high school seniors

DURANGO, Colo. – La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) awarded $102,000 in scholarships to nine local high-school seniors to support their continued education. The cooperative received 56 applications for this year’s scholarship programs. Recipients were selected based on merit by a local committee comprised of 13 individuals from across LPEA’s four districts.

“It’s so important to the future of our communities that employers support a skilled and educated future workforce, specifically in the STEM fields,” said LPEA CEO Jessica Matlock. “We’ve been offering these scholarships for decades and are proud to have a handful of previous recipients working with us at LPEA. Regardless of where these students go, we congratulate them and wish them the best of luck!”

The 2022 scholarship recipients are as follows:

  • LPEA Scholarship (Up to $28,000 for tuition, books, and fees at any university or college): Awarded to Grace Holst from Durango High School to study Engineering at George Washington University and Nicholas Huber from Durango High School to study Engineering at Colorado School of Mines.
  • John Voelker Memorial Scholarship ($10,000 for tuition, books, and fees at any vocational school, technical school, or junior college): Awarded to Timothy Hittle from Pagosa Springs High School to study Business at Colorado Mesa University and Jeremy Roderick from Ignacio High School to study Fire Science at Iowa Central Community College.
  • LPEA Lineman Scholarship ($12,000 for tuition, books, fees, and tools for line school): Awarded to Ryan Elliot from San Juan Mountain School to study at Colorado Mesa University and Dutch Revells from Big Picture High School to study at Western Colorado Community College.
  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative Scholarship ($1,000 for expenses at any school): Awarded to Thomas Pope from Durango High School to study Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Tri-State G&T Scholarship ($500 for expenses at any school): Awarded to Grace Martinez from Durango High School to study Electrical Engineering at Colorado School of Mines and Nell Taylor from Pagosa Springs High School to study Biochemistry at an accredited university.

“As someone who wants to pursue a community-focused career path, I’m aware of how the crippling cost of post-secondary education could inhibit me from reaching that goal,” said Grace Holst, LPEA scholarship recipient. “Receiving this scholarship has greatly reduced the financial burden on me and enabled me to enroll at a university that I otherwise may not have been able to attend. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity.”

Photos and quotes from this year’s scholarship recipients are available at:  LPEA 2022 Scholarship Winners

Scholarship recipients will be recognized at the LPEA Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 12, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. in the LPEA truck barn in Bodo Park, Durango. All LPEA members are invited to attend. More details at lpea.coop/annual-meeting.

The LPEA Scholarship, John Voelker Memorial Scholarship, and LPEA Lineman Scholarship are funded by LPEA’s Unclaimed Capital Credit funds. As LPEA is a not-for-profit utility delivering service to its members at cost, any payments made by members over the cost required to provide their electric service are placed into a patronage capital account in each member’s name, referred to as Capital Credits. When the cooperative can, these credits are retired and returned to members as bill credits or by check. If these checks are not cashed after three years, they are considered unclaimed – and put back into the community in the form of grants and scholarships. The Basin Electric Power Cooperative Scholarship and Tri-State G&T Scholarship are funded separately by those organizations.

LPEA is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative serving La Plata and Archuleta counties, with segments of Hinsdale, Mineral, and San Juan counties. LPEA is the fifth largest cooperative of 22 in Colorado and aims to provide safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost to approximately 35,000 members. For additional information, contact LPEA at (970) 247-5786 or visit lpea.coop.

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