College Scholarships available through LPEA

High school seniors interested in pursuing careers in the wide variety of disciplines found in the rural electric industry are eligible for one of two scholarships offered by La Plata Electric Association (LPEA): the LPEA Scholarship (four-year) and LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship (two-year). The application deadline is March 2, 2009.

LPEA scholarship applications, plus criteria for three additional affiliated rural electric scholarships or awards offered by Tri-State Generation & Transmission, Basin Electric and the Rocky Mountain Electrical League (RMEL) are available at

“Rural electric cooperatives require and employ a wide range of disciplines,” said Greg Munro, LPEA CEO. “Everything from engineering and computer science, to marketing and communications, to accounting and business management, to electronic technicians and engine mechanics. Students wishing to pursue any career that can be found at a rural electric cooperative should apply for the scholarships.”

Rural electric cooperatives are known nationally to provide stable employment, livable wages and solid benefit packages. LPEA is no exception, and with more than 100 employees, exists as one of the more significant employers in the region. The cooperative endeavors to train and educate local young people for positions they may ultimately secure at LPEA, though this is not a requirement of the scholarship.

Specifically, LPEA will award one, four-year scholarship (140 credit hours) for a student attending any college or university beginning with the 2009-2010 academic year. LPEA will cover tuition, books and fees, up to $5,000 annually, given that the student maintains minimum qualifications. Opportunities also exist for the LPEA Scholarship recipient to enjoy internship/summer employment with LPEA.

The La Plata Electric/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship recognizes students attending an accredited vocational school, technical school or junior college. This two-year scholarship covers fees, books, tools and supplies up to $3,000 per year.

Applicants must be seniors graduating from high schools within LPEA’s service territory (La Plata and Archuleta Counties), or may be home school graduates.

In 2008, scholarship recipients were Ignacio High School graduate Savannah Pearson, the LPEA Scholarship; Pagosa Springs High School graduate Tamara Gayhart, LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship; Bayfield High School graduate Caleb Flint, $1,000 Basin Electric Power Cooperative Scholarship; Bayfield High School graduate Jordan Hardy, and Durango High School graduate Caitlin Hickey, $500 scholarships from Tri-State Generation & Transmission.

Former scholarship recipients currently employed at LPEA include, Pagosa High School graduates Jake Wills, hired as an LPEA Staff Engineer following graduation from Colorado State University (CSU) in 2004, and Mindy Farrow Potter, coming to LPEA as an Engineering IT Specialist following her 1997 FLC graduation with a degree in computer science. Also, Dan Harms, a Durango High School graduate, FLC scholarship recipient and 1994 CSU graduate, is a Systems Engineer with LPEA.

For more information, visit or contact Jeannie Bennett at (970) 382-3505, or