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College scholarships available through LPEA

During these challenging economic times, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) encourages high school seniors within LPEA’s service territory to apply for comprehensive scholarships offered by the electric cooperative: the LPEA Scholarship (four-year) and LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship (two-year). Deadline for application is March 1, 2010.

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

Specifically, LPEA will award one, four-year scholarship (140 credit hours) for a student attending any college or university beginning with the 2010-2011 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 a student 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 2009, scholarship recipients were Durango High School graduate Ben Southworth, the LPEA Scholarship; Bayfield High School graduate Jesse Krueger, LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship; Durango High School graduate Michael Salka, $1,000 Basin Electric Power Cooperative Scholarship; Pagosa Springs High School graduate Stephanie Lowe, and Durango High School graduate Matt Mulligan, $500 scholarships from Tri-State Generation & Transmission.

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.

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, LPEA scholarship recipient and 1994 CSU graduate, is a systems engineer.

For further information, visit www.lpea.coop or contact Jeannie Bennett at 382-3505, or jbennett@lpea.coop.