The education careers of 250 students from throughout Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association’s 12-county service area will get a financial boost this fall. Each will receive a scholarship of $725 to help them attend state community colleges this year, thanks to the generous spirit and support of the Association’s member-consumers.
This is the sixth year for the Round Up for Education scholar’s program, which is funded by members who round their bills up to the nearest dollar each month. Scholarships are available to members who do the round up, as well as for their spouses or dependent children who are enrolled as freshmen at state community colleges this fall.
“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 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. As we are now able to see, the accumulation of what would normally be spare change for an individual has added up significantly. These funds will help create long-term educational opportunities as well as economic benefits, which is good for everyone in the communities we serve.”
PRVEPA serves more than 49,000 meters. Since the Round Up program began in November 2012, more than $1.2 million has been collected and deposited in an account overseen by the Greater Pine Belt Community Foundation.
Ten percent of each year’s funds are set aside in an endowed fund for future use. The remaining money is divided equally between the number of eligible applicants, resulting this year in 250 scholarships worth $725 per student. In the program’s 6 years, more than 1,250 students have now received scholarships.
Scholarship recipients this year include 144 students attending Pearl River Community College, 46 at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and 50 at Jones County Junior College. An additional 10 students are attending 7 other state community colleges. Overall, students came from 23 different high schools and home school programs.
“I hope our members are able to see the effects this program can have—helping more than 1,250 community college students begin their college careers,” said Wallace. “We are thrilled with the results and know that members’ participation in the program will have positive impacts for years to come.”
Round Up for Education funds collected after August 1 go toward next year’s scholarships. Applications for 2019 scholarships will be available beginning this month.
High Schools Recipients Attended
Purvis 32 Oak Grove 31 Sumrall 28 Forrest Co. AHS 27 Lamar Christian 4 PCS 3
2013-2018 Students’ High Schools
Purvis HS 160 Oak Grove HS 149 Sumrall HS 121 Lamar Christian 35 Forrest Co. AHS 27