ELLISVILLE – In the second year of the Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association’s, “Round Up for Education Scholar’s Program,” more students are receiving scholarships and more money is being awarded. Forty-eight JCJC students are receiving the maximum scholarship amount allowed from this new program with a total of 172 eligible community college students. The students are all residents of PRVEPA’s 12-county service area and each student will receive scholarships of $1,000.
“This means a lot to me because it will pay off this semester and part of next semester’s tuition,” said electrical engineering major, Tyler Sanders from Columbia. The Lamar Christian High School graduate continued, “I was faced with getting a job to pay for school and I’m not good at multi-tasking so this scholarship will allow me to keep focused on school and it helps my parents financially.”
Last year, the PRVEPA Scholarship program provided 36-JCJC students with scholarships of nearly $1000. The increase in dollar amount is a sign the PRVEPA’s members are buying into the idea of investing in college students, because they voluntarily “round-up” their monthly power bill on average, by about 50-cents.
“Throughout our history, Pearl River Valley Electric has not only been providing electric service to rural areas, but working to improve the quality of life of our members and the communities where they live,” said General Manger, Randy Wallace. “We believe that education is vital to improving the future for all of us in south Mississippi, and the Round Up program was designed to encourage more young people to further their education.”
Kurt Brautigam, PRVEPA’s Manager of Member Services explained, “Scholarships are available to members, their spouses or dependent children who are enrolling for their first semester at a Mississippi community/junior college this fall and are participating in the ‘Round Up for Education’ program.”
More than 90-percent of the PRVEPA’s members have remained enrolled in the scholarship program. The accumulation of “spare change” has turned into a brighter future for JCJC student recipients like, Jenna Hauk of Purvis and Landon Monk of Columbia because both students have plans to work in the medical field.
“I am very thankful for the customers of PRVEPA for paying that extra to help get me through school,” said Monk whose goal is to be a general medicine practitioner. “I think the scholarship program is a great thing to help people get into and through college.”
JCJC freshman and Purvis High School graduate, Hauk is serving as a Student Government Association Senator and resident assistant in the dorms, while studying to be a pharmacist.
“Receiving this scholarship has given me hope that I can one day be a pharmacist. I think with PRVEPA implementing this scholarship program will help many students like myself in allowing their future to become a reality.”
Sumrall freshman, Lindsey Garrity said the scholarship has been a blessing in disguise because her dad’s eye was injured by a baseball and her dog was hit by a car. Medical bills are stacking up and the scholarship came at a great time.
“Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed to this scholarship program. Your care for students and their education is very much appreciated. You have helped many families in many different ways,” said Garrity.
The PineBelt Community Foundation administers a variety of scholarship programs, granting between $250 and $2,000 to high school, community college and university students, according to Theresa Erickson, Executive Director of the Foundation. However, she said the Round Up for Education program is the largest scholarship program they manage.
“We often see how small contributions from large numbers of people can grow into significant amounts that benefit many individuals, and when people continue their education it not only benefits the individual, but it also benefits their family and ultimately their community,” said Erickson.
Ten percent of each year’s funding will be set aside in an endowed fund for future use. The remaining money is divided equally between the number of eligible applicants. Overall, students from 18 different high schools and home school programs are receiving PRVEPA scholarships. Eighty-three of the scholarship recipients this year are Pearl River Community College students, forty-eight are JCJC students and thirty-two are Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College students. Ten other students are attending three other state community colleges.
JCJC President, Dr. Jesse Smith appreciates the efforts of PRVEPA and the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation. Providing a creative way to engage the community by investing in its future with college scholarships for the region’s students will strengthen the Pine Belt on many levels.
“Investing in the education of a region’s residents will produce more options for students and communities because these students will be better prepared to solve the problems we’re faced with today, and they will be enriching the region with new resources, for a brighter future,” said JCJC President, Dr. Jesse Smith.
Round Up for Education funds collected after August 1 will go to next year’s scholarships. Applications for 2015 scholarships will be available beginning in February.
JCJC PRVEPA SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS:
Kelsey Addison-Purvis; Aaron Edward Albritton-Brooklyn; Katie Anderson-Hattiesburg; Tyler Brooks Ash-Purvis; Madison Aultman-Sumrall; Hannah M. Boyte-Sumrall; Jordan Browning- Hattiesburg; Rayna D. Brumfield-Hattiesburg; Lexington V. Cooley- Hattiesburg; Shanice Daniels-Columbia; Olyvia Freeman-Sumrall; Joshua S. Friend-Sumrall; Lindsey Allison Garrity- Hattiesburg; Georgette Geter- Kokomo; Kelsey Grace Hannaford- Lumberton; Jenna Hauk-Purvis; Wayne Alanceson Herring-Sandy Hook; Kierston Hickey-Lumberton; Christina Nicole Hobson-Hattiesburg; Austin Brentley Jackson- Sumrall; Jonathan Jones- Purvis; India Kohli-Hattiesburg; Kolby Allen Krohn- Wiggins; Hannah LeBlanc- Hattiesburg; Eniaya Leonard-Columbia; Mikaela Malone-Lumberton; Michael Mann-Sumrall; Landon Monk-Columbia; Traci Monroe-Perkinston; Victoria E. Morris-Hattiesburg; Jeremy Dean Newsom-Sumrall; Kayla Phipps-Hattiesburg; Leslie Pounds-Columbia; Kaley Radtke- Hattiesburg; Kevin Rieder-Hattiesburg; Natia Roberts-Columbia; Alli Kate Ross-Hattiesburg; Tyler Matthew Sanders- Columbia; Morgan Shows-Purvis; Kyle G. Smith-Columbia; Brittney Smith-Sumrall; Charleigh Smith-Columbia; Danita D. Stevenson; Ariana Thompson-Columbia; Katie Marie Thornhill-Purvis; Mercedes Vines-Hattiesburg; Cynthia Waller-Hattiesburg; Aaron Ward-Sumrall.
2014 PRVEPA Scholars Program Recipients (172 total)