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LPEA to host scholarship open houses, application deadline March 1

The deadline for high school seniors to apply for scholarships and awards available through La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is Thursday, March 1.

Applications are available for download at

To assist students and their parents with the application process, the cooperative will host two special open houses: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District’s Administrative Offices (515 Sower Drive), Bayfield; and Thursday, Feb. 9, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Ruby Sisson Library, Pagosa Springs. LPEA staff members will be on hand to answer any questions. Copies of all applications will be available, and no R.S.V.P. is required.

All high school seniors in La Plata and Archuleta counties, including home school students, who receive their electricity from LPEA are eligible to apply for the variety of funding opportunities. Attendance at an open house is not a requirement of application.

LPEA directly offers the LPEA Scholarship (four-year) and LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship (two-year), plus provides for additional affiliated rural electric scholarships/awards granted by Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Basin Electric and the Rocky Mountain Electrical League (RMEL).

Specifically, LPEA will award two, four-year scholarships (140 credit hours) for students attending any college or university beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year. LPEA will cover tuition, books and fees, up to $7,000 annually, given that the students maintain minimum qualifications.

The LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship recognizes two students attending accredited vocational schools, technical schools or junior college. This two-year scholarship covers fees, books, tools and supplies up to $5,000 per student, per year.

The 2012-2013 academic year will be the first that LPEA has offered two of both the LPEA and the LPEA/John Voelker scholarships.

“The LPEA board recognizes that college costs are increasing,” said Greg Munro, LPEA CEO. “We have limited funds available to help, but the board agreed that we want to do what we can. Thus, we are able to directly assist two additional students this year.”

LPEA endeavors to train and educate local young people for positions they may ultimately secure at a rural electric cooperative, though this is not a requirement of the scholarship. 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.

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.

In 2011, scholarship recipients included Pagosa Springs High School graduates Kelsie McNutt (LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship), Danielle Pajak ($1,000 Basin Electric Power Cooperative Scholarship) and Garrett Stoll ($500 scholarship from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association).

For further information, and to download applications, visit or contact Jeannie Bennett at 382-3505, or

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