SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative is very proud to be one of a number of businesses in our area that remain locally owned, locally governed and locally operated for the past 72 years in Southern Illinois. Our Cooperative embraces improving the quality of life in the communities that it serves. Your Cooperative remains committed to its communities and the following are just a few examples of how your electric cooperative is striving to make a difference right here in Southern Illinois.
Your Cooperative coordinates an education grant program known as the Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grant. Your Cooperative offers a total of $4,600 in grants to fund innovative, unfunded projects or materials. Qualifying projects are those that improve the learning environment or increase educational resources for the school and the students. Every year, your cooperative sends grant applications to all of the schools in the 10 county service area and assists school administrators in applying for these grants. For the 2009-2010 school year SEIEC awarded Creal Springs School, Gallatin County Elementary, Galatia Junior High School, Harrisburg High School and Norris City-Omaha Elementary School with Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants. Your Cooperative has just began accepting applications for the 2010-2011 school year.
SouthEastern is also participating in a statewide scholarship fund known as the Illinois Electric Cooperative Memorial Scholarship Fund as a means of honoring deceased members of the electric cooperative family. Every year, your cooperative sends information to all of the schools in the 10 county service area with instructions on how students can apply for these scholarships. The program will award eight scholarships in the amount of $1,250 each. Five scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who are enrolling in an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school in the United States. The sixth and seventh scholarships will be awarded to a high school senior who will be enrolling full-time at a two-year Illinois community college. The scholarship must be used for educational costs, and the student must enter college within one year from the time the scholarship is awarded. Scholarships are awarded based upon grade point average, college entrance test scores, work and volunteer experience, participation in school and community activities, biographical statement and knowledge of cooperatives, as demonstrated by a short essay. A new eighth annual scholarship, the "LaVern and Nola McEntire Lineworker's Scholarship," will be awarded for the first time in 2011. This $1250 scholarship will help pay for costs to attend the lineworker's school conducted by the AIEC in conjunction with Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, IL. The eighth scholarship will be awarded to relatives of co-op employees or directors are eligible for the lineworker's scholarship, as are individuals who have served or are serving in the armed forces or National Guard
SouthEastern also invites all twenty three area high schools to participate in a program known as the "Youth To Washington Tour". Students are invited to participate by writing a one page essay on the subject, "Why I would like to visit Washington D.C." Participating schools select the best essay written by their students and forward that essay to SouthEastern for evaluation by staff personnel. The composers of the two best essays are awarded the opportunity to participate in a one day tour of the State's capital in Springfield, Illinois and then on to a one week, expense paid tour of our Nations capital in Washington D.C. SEIEC is proud to announce that Kaela Kiefer of McLeansboro High School and Seth Wilson of Sesser-Valier High School were awarded and have attended the "Youth To Washington Tour" in 2010.
Lastly, as part of our commitment to community, SEIEC is celebrating National Cooperative Month by promoting energy efficiency while collecting food for our local communities. Beginning October 1, members will receive one free 23 watt CFL (up to a maximum of four CFLs while supplies last) for each commercially canned or packaged non-perishable food item you bring into our office. The food will then be donated to local food pantries in our service area. We ask that you please help us help those in need while saving energy in your homes and businesses.
These are just a few examples of how your electric cooperative is striving to make a difference in the communities it serves.
See you next month and as always, "We'll keep the lights on for you."
SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative 2007. All rights reserved.