Electric cooperative to host scholarship Q&A Open House on Jan. 24
To assist high school seniors and their parents with the application process for college scholarships available through La Plata Electric Association (LPEA), the cooperative will host a special Open House, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 5-7:30 p.m. at LPEA’s Bodo Park headquarters (45 Stewart St., Durango).
LPEA staff members will be on-hand to answer any questions. No reservations necessary and copies of all applications will be available.
All high school seniors, including home school students, in LPEA’s service territory who receive their electricity from LPEA are eligible to apply for the variety of funding opportunities. Deadline for application is Mar. 1, 2017. Attendance at the Open House is not a requirement of application.
LPEA directly offers the LPEA Scholarship (four-year) and LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship (two-year), per LPEA Board of Directors policies No. 411 and 416, plus provides for additional affiliated rural electric scholarships/awards offered by Tri-State Generation and Transmission and Basin Electric Power Cooperative.
Specifically, LPEA will award two, four-year scholarships (140 credit hours) for students attending any college or university beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year. LPEA will cover tuition, books and fees, up to $28,000 over four years, 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 $10,000 over two years, per student.
Funds for the LPEA and LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarships come from LPEA’s unclaimed Capital Credits. Each year, LPEA endeavors to find “missing” members who are due a share of retired Capital Credits. Those funds unable to be returned to members are then put back into the community – in this case, into college scholarships.
LPEA supports training and educating local young people for positions they may ultimately secure at a rural electric cooperative, though this is not a requirement of 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, it exists as one of the more significant employers in the region.
Former scholarship recipients currently employed at LPEA include Manager of Rates, Technology and Energy Policy Dan Harms and Controller Rachel (Lasiewicz) Gilman, both of Durango and graduates, respectively, of Colorado State University (CSU) and Fort Lewis College. Also, Systems Engineer Jake Wills and Staff Engineer Rachel Schur Wagner, both Pagosa Springs High School and CSU graduates, were LPEA scholarship recipients.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with nearly 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.