ELLISVILLE – Thirty-six Jones County Junior College students recently received Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association scholarships through it’s “Round Up for Education Scholar’s Program.” In all, the power association awarded more than 170 students from throughout PRVEPA’s 12-county service area.
“These students received scholarships of nearly $1000 to attend state community/junior colleges this year, thanks to the generous spirit and support of the Association’s member-consumers,” said Kurt Brautigam, PRVEPA’s Manager of Member Services. “Scholarships are funded by members who round their bills up to the nearest dollar each month, which is an average of about 50 cents monthly. The scholarship program has proved to be quite successful in its first year.”
Brautigam added 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. JCJC freshman Kylie Bohannon of Sumrall said the scholarship was a nice surprise.
“This is huge!” said pre-medicine major, Bohannon. “This is the biggest scholarship and it will pay for almost all of my tuition at Jones, which will allow me to save up for medical school.”
Since the Round Up for Education Scholarship program began last November, more than $184,000 has been collected and deposited in an account overseen by the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation from the more than 47,000 PRVEPA meters. 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, resulting in 171 scholarships worth $963.74 per student this year.
Scholarship recipient William Folkes of Oak Grove was surprised by what he calls a larger scholarship. His plans include transferring from Jones to Ole Miss in pursuit of a law degree.
“I would like to thank Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association for considering and awarding me with this scholarship. I feel like this scholarship has provided me with better financial security for my two years here at Jones.”
JCJC President, Dr. Jesse Smith appreciates the efforts of JCJC’s newest partners, PRVEPA and the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation. They have provided a creative way to engage the community by investing in its future with college scholarships for the region’s students.
“Communities should take notice and see how the spare change from a group of individuals will yield a great harvest,” said JCJC President Dr. Jesse Smith. “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.”
The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation’s Executive Director, Theresa Erickson said it’s very rewarding to be able to offer new opportunities for students to reach their educational goals. The mission of the Foundation is to provide anyone, individuals and corporations the opportunity to endow similar scholarships for the purpose of enhancing the Pine Belt.
“The PineBelt Community Foundation administers a variety of scholarship programs that grant between $250 and $2,000 to high school, community college and university students,” said Erickson. “The Round Up for Education Scholarship program is the largest scholarship program we manage. We often see how small contributions can change and positively affect a community, benefiting a lot of individuals.”
Throughout Pearl River Valley Electric’s history, the Association has not only provided electric service to rural areas, but it has also strives to improve the quality of life of its members and the communities where they live, according to PRVEPA General Manager, 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. Members working together to achieve a common goal is a unique hallmark of cooperative organizations, and I am proud of the positive response we’ve received on this effort. More than 90 percent of our members are presently enrolled in the program and we’re very thankful for their support,” said Wallace.
Round Up for Education funds collected after August 1 will go to next year’s scholarships. Applications for 2014 scholarships will be available beginning in February.
JCJC PRVEPA SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS:
Andrew Adams-Purvis; Joseph Arnau-Purvis; Alexandra Aultman-Sumrall; Zachery E. Benzel-Hattiesburg; Kylie Bohannon-Sumrall; Jansen Bounds-Hattiesburg; Annie Caulfield-Hattiesburg; Garrett Clement-Columbia; Eevee Christy-Purvis; Logan Dearman-Lumberton; Victoria Easley-Hattiesburg; Lindsey Farris-Tylertown; William Folkes-Hattiesburg; John Ford- Hattiesburg; Shelby Gray-Lumberton; Alicia Harris-Sandy Hook; Emily Hill-Columbia-Columbia; Brooke Hudson-Lumberton; Taylor Long-Purvis; Lauren Lott-Hattiesburg; Bradley Lowe-Lumberton; Courtney Lowery-Foxworth; Taylor McKenzie-Hattiesburg; Morgan Meeks-Purvis; Ashley Mickell-Hattiesburg; Meagan Miley-Sumrall; Timothy Milling-Purvis; Cheressa Mitchell-Foxworth; Jacob Moore-Purvis; Preston Pitfield-Purvis; Bryce Sheasby-Hattiesburg; William Smith-Hattiesburg; Shelby Waller-Hattiesburg; Kyla Welch-Harker Heights, TX; Courtney White-Columbia; and Trinity Williams-Wiggins.
2013 PRVEPA Scholars Program Recipients (171 total)