October 7, 2020 - 2020 Round Up for Education scholarships awarded
Columbia, MS- The education careers of 175 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 $500 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 eighth 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 this fall.
“The purpose of electric cooperatives has always been to make life better in the areas they serve,” said General Manager Randy Wallace. “Our Round Up for Education program is an example of how cooperatives can improve the lives of their members through education which is vital to improving the future for all of us in south Mississippi.”
“I am extremely proud of the work our members have done to achieve a common goal, which 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 50,000 meters. Since the Round Up program began in November 2012, more than $1.6 million has been collected and deposited in an account overseen by the PineBelt 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 175 scholarships worth $500 per student. In the program’s 8 years, 1,651 students have now received scholarships.
Scholarship recipients this year include 107 students attending Pearl River Community College, 27 at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and 31 at Jones County Junior College. An additional 10 students are attending 4 other state community colleges. Overall, students came from 21 different high schools and home school programs.
“I hope our members are able to see the effects this program can have—helping more than 1,600 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 2021 scholarships will be available beginning in November.
Pearl River Valley Electric is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative that distributes electricity to more than 50,000 members in 12-counties in central and south Mississippi. It is headquartered in Columbia and has offices in Hattiesburg, Purvis and Wiggins.