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 79 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 is 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 2016-2017 school year SEIEC awarded grants to Crab Orchard High School, Sesser-Valier High School, Adams Elementary – Creal Springs, IL, Hamilton County High School and Vienna High School.
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 complete an application and forward the application to SouthEastern for evaluation by staff personnel. The two best applicants 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. The two students elected attended the tour of our State’s capital on March 29th and will be attending the “Youth To Washington Tour later this 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 ten scholarships in the amount of $1,250 each. Five scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who are the sons or daughters of an Illinois electric cooperative member receiving service from the cooperative who are enrolling in an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school in the United States. A sixth scholarship, the Earl W. Struck Memorial Scholarship, will be awarded to a student who is the son or daughter of an Illinois electric cooperative director or employee. Three additional scholarships will be awarded to a high school senior who are the sons or daughters of Illinois electric cooperative members, employees or directors 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. The tenth annual scholarship is known as the "LaVern and Nola McEntire Lineworker's Scholarship." This 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 tenth 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. I am pleased to announce that Rachel Miller of Benton has been selected to receive a 2017 Thomas H. Moore IEC Memorial Scholarship
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."