WREA awards scholarships to outstanding seniors

MEEKER | White River Electric’s philanthropic commitment to its community is best highlighted by WREA’s annual scholarship program. Graduating high school seniors within the WREA service territory are eligible to apply for both renewable and one time scholarship awards.
“Interviewing graduating seniors is the highlight of the board’s calendar,” says WREA director Stan Wyatt. “These are no longer kids but young adults that our entire community can be proud of.”
This year, the board increased the amount of the scholarships to coincide with the increasing cost of education.
“Education is an important part of a young person’s life and we are pleased that WREA is able to provide some degree of financial support toward their educational goals,” said WREA director Dick Welle.
This year, the board awarded a total of 17 scholarships including scholarships to technical schools, junior colleges and four year colleges or universities. “Meeker students tend to be so well rounded with academics, sports, 4H, dance, cheer, volunteer work etc. and this class set the gold standard,” said WREA board president Bill Jordan. Applying seniors must submit an application, including an essay, and participate in an interview with the WREA board of directors. This year the WREA $1,000 renewable scholarships were awarded to Madeline Amack, Sheridan Harvey, Delenn Mobley, Kendra Nelson, Meghan Smith and Casey Turner. The WREA $500 renewable recipients included Cole Brown, Lori Ann Klinglesmith and Maggie Phelan. The WREA $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Kinzy Burke, Peyton Burke and Reese Pertile. The WREA Basin Electric $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Linda Lombardi. The WREA Tri-State $500 scholarships were awarded to Nishiko Thelen and Anna Walsh. The WREA $500 scholarships were awarded to Cody Nielsen and Patrick Williams.
The scholarship program is funded by WREA’s unclaimed capital credits. Capital credits are paid out each year based upon allocated margins for a particular year. In August 2016, WREA paid out just more than $1 million in capital credits based upon 2002 margins. Capital credit checks are mailed annually in August. Checks that are not cashed after a specific amount of time are categorized by statute as unclaimed capital credits. Colorado law allows for electric cooperatives to utilize unclaimed capital credits for specified purposes including educational scholarships. If unclaimed capital credits are not utilized in a timely manner the funds escheat to the State of Colorado.
The WREA scholarship recipients will be recognized during the Meeker High School senior assembly in May. “Our community can take great pride in its young people. The board left the scholarship interviews with a renewed sense of optimism as we recognize that the future is bright in the hands of Meeker’s graduating seniors,” Jordan said.