Grady EMC seeking candidates for prestigious scholarship

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Exorbitant college tuition, fees, housing and book expenses is making it more and more difficult for students to afford a higher education and forcing families to explore a variety of alternatives to offset the costs of obtaining a degree.

To ensure that students have the opportunity to further their education, Grady EMC is currently accepting applications for the Walter Harrison Scholarship, a program sponsored by Georgia’s 41 electric cooperatives.

“Commitment to community is one of the cornerstones of the cooperative business model,” says Donnie Prince with Grady EMC. “We think it’s important to ‘walk the walk’ and give a hand up to deserving students in our own areas.”

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According to Prince, the $1,000 scholarship can be used for academic expenses at any accredited two- or four-year university, college or technical institute in Georgia.

In 2017, Walter Harrison Scholarships will be awarded to 10 students. The scholarship is merit based, and students are evaluated on a number of criteria such as grade point average, SAT scores, academic standing, scholastic honors, community involvement and financial need. To apply for the scholarship, students must be accepted or enrolled at an accredited two- or four-year university or technical institute. They also must complete an application and submit a biographical sketch which includes a preview of his or her future plans.

Finally, to be eligible for the scholarship, students and their families must be members of Grady EMC and reside within the co-op’s service area.

The scholarship is partly funded by Georgia’s electric cooperatives, including Grady EMC, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Georgia Rural Electric Supply Corp.

Additional funding of the Scholarship comes from a silent auction held each November during Georgia EMC’s Annual Meeting. The 41 electric co-ops in Georgia donate unique items representative of every region of the state. Last year’s auction raised more than $13,000 and helped award $1,000 each to 10 deserving students across the state:

• Rishabh Agrawal, Watkinsville

• Haley Anderson, Fortson

• Ryley Beaumont, Roswell

• Amber Lynn Coy, Warner Robins

• Amy Jenkins, Lawrenceville

• Brendan Machado, Lilburn

• Madison Parker, Wrightsville

• Ashleigh Ryan, Sharpsburg

• Jacob Williams, Dublin

• Sierra Williams, Waynesville

Created in 1985 by the board of directors of Georgia EMC, the scholarship pays tribute to the late Walter Harrison, a pioneer in the rural electricity movement and a leader at local, state and national levels in the electric cooperative program.

Since 1987, Georgia’s electric cooperatives have awarded more than $181,000 to students through the Walter Harrison Scholarship program.

To receive an application, contact the respective Guidance Counselor in one of the high schools in Grady, Thomas or Decatur counties.  Completed applications are due by February 3, 2017.

Grady EMC, based in Cairo, Georgia, is a member-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to approximately 13,300 members in Grady, Decatur and Thomas counties.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp.  Collectively, Georgia’s customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to more than 4.4 million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.