Black Warrior Electric Membership Corporation recently awarded scholarships to two graduating seniors at Demopolis High School. The scholarships, $500 each, were among 10 presented to students in Black Warrior’s coverage area through the Electric Cooperative Foundation, which was created by Alabama’s electric cooperatives as a means to give back to their communities.
The Demopolis High scholarship winners are Keisha Bruno and Thomas “Russ” Logan. Bruno plans to attend the University of South Alabama and major in civil engineering. Logan will attend Auburn University and major in civil engineering.
“As board members, we are constantly looking for ways to keep rates low for our members, but we also want them, especially our young people, to be successful in life,” said Black Warrior board Vice President Arthur R. Taylor Jr. “A good education is the jump-start to that success, and we are delighted we are able to help with these scholarships.”
Scholarships were also awarded to students in Choctaw, Hale and Perry counties.
“We are extremely proud of these students,” said board member Irvin Eatman. “We expect them to go on and do great things, for themselves, their families and their community.”
To qualify for a scholarship, a student must be a graduating high school senior who is the dependent of a Black Warrior Electric member. The money is awarded directly to the school of the student’s choosing. To spread the word about the scholarships, Black Warrior distributed applications to the more than 20 high schools in its 12-county service area.
“We wanted to make sure all our seniors knew about the scholarships,” said board member William Rankin. “Anytime you can invest in young people, you are investing in the future.”
Fellow board member Peter Reynolds Jr. believes that investment will pay dividends for the region. “We serve a very large area, and there are literally thousands of smart, bright students whom we hope, after they complete their education, will come back and provide the brain power to give this area an economic boost,” Reynolds. “We need doctors, lawyers, nurses, engineers, teachers, business people, etc., just like every other region of Alabama.”
The scholarship applications were evaluated by the Electric Cooperative Foundation, which on behalf of the electric cooperatives has been awarding scholarships to vocational and trade schools and four-year colleges and universities since 2001. Over the years, the Electric Cooperative Foundation has awarded scholarships totaling $517,000.
“Last year, we awarded two scholarships, but this year we increased that number to 10,” said Black Warrior Electric General Manager Daryl Jones. “The response has been great, and the Black Warrior board saw this as an opportunity to help more students.”