Three high school seniors from the service territory of Community Electric Cooperative have each received $1,000 college scholarships awarded by the Education Scholarship Foundation of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives. The 2022 scholarship recipients are:
- Alivia Garris of Zuni, a student at Windsor High School
- Brett Holmes of Franklin, a student at Windsor High School
- Braxton Lewis of Suffolk, a student at Nansemond River High School
The students were eligible for consideration because their parents or guardians are members of Community Electric Cooperative.
“These scholarships reflect the strong commitment of electric cooperatives to advancing educational opportunities among our youth,” said Russell Brown, chair of the Education Scholarship Foundation Board and chair of the board of directors of the VMD Association. “We commend these students on their academic success, knowing they represent a future generation of leaders in their communities.”
The Foundation awarded Worth Hudson Scholarships of $1,000 each to 50 students, including Garris and Lewis. They are named in honor of Hudson, the first chairman of the VMDAEC Education Scholarship Foundation.
Holmes is among three seniors awarded $1,000 scholarships in memory of Bill Sherrod, the former editor of Cooperative Living magazine. They plan to pursue a career in journalism, English, communications or related fields.
Garris will attend Paul D. Camp Community College and study nutrition. Her career goal is to become a nutritionist and personal trainer. “I am so honored by those who have chosen to contribute to my college education. I am truly grateful and appreciative of their generosity,” Garris says. “I will work hard to make the organizations proud of supporting me.”
Lewis will attend Virginia Military Institute and major in civil engineering. “I was ecstatic upon receiving this scholarship because it pushes me closer to my goals. I am so happy that scholarships like these are made possible for students like me who do not want a pile of student debt after graduation,” Lewis said. He quoted the renowned U.S. wrestler Dan Gable, an Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA national champion, to describe his career aspirations: “‘My valleys are higher than most people’s peaks.’ I am not inferring that I am better than anyone, just that I have such high goals for myself.”
Holmes will attend Virginia Tech and major in sports media and analytics. He described the Bill Sherrod scholarship opportunity as a “big red shiny ball” that aligned perfectly with his career goals. “Most scholarships are very broad, and everyone is applying for the same ones. This scholarship made so much sense for me, and I’m very, very grateful,” Holmes said.
“We’re extremely proud to be able to help these deserving young people from our service area continue their education, whether at a college or university, or in learning a trade,” said Steven Harmon, president and chief executive officer of Community Electric Cooperative.
Since 2001, the Education Scholarship Foundation has provided approximately 840 scholarships totaling more than $860,000 to aspiring college students as well as to the next generation of electric lineworkers. The Foundation is supported through tax-deductible donations and bequests from individuals, proceeds from fundraising events and CoBank’s Sharing Success Program. One hundred percent of donations go to students for scholarships.