Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association (WH) has awarded $30,800 in scholarships to 23 local students to help them continue their education. WH began awarding scholarships to local students in 1988.
Now in its 33rd year, the cooperative has awarded more than $646,000. The scholarship fund was created after a state law was passed allowing unclaimed capital credits to be put into an education fund. In addition to unclaimed capital credits, contributions were made from the Wright-Hennepin Holding Company. This allows WH to invest in the area’s youth without impacting electric rates.
WH awards scholarships to students whose parent/guardian is a WH member. WH provides one scholarship to each school in its electric service area for an outstanding student pursuing higher education. WH also offers one “at-large” scholarship for students who are home-schooled or attend a school neighboring WH’s electric service territory.
The following 19 recipients received a WH local school scholarship this year: Alec Braun, Annandale High School; Nicole Elsenpeter, Buffalo High School; Kezia Lee, Dassel-Cokato High School; Aliya Johnson, Delano High School; Anika Millar, Heritage Christian Academy; Neva Diers, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School; Sawyer Miedema, Maple Grove High School; Abigail Althoff, Maple Lake High School; Gracie Guertin, Monticello High School; Julia Stevens, Orono High School; Maggie McGuire, Osseo Senior High School; Trisha Sebastin, Parnassus Preparatory School; Sydney Christensen, Rockford High School; Gabriella Bengs, Rogers High School; Jalyssa Beaudry, St. Michael-Albertville High School; Paige Rue, Watertown-Mayer High School; Lydia Gengler, Wayzata High School; Daniel Neutz, Wright Technical Center; and Keely Kolbrek, Maranatha Christian Academy (at-large scholarship).
Each year, the Edward R. Slebiska Scholarship is awarded in the name of the cooperative’s first CEO to individuals planning to become electric lineworkers. During his time as CEO, Slebiska helped the cooperative bring reliable and affordable electricity to rural Wright County and Western Hennepin County. The recipients of the 2021 Edward R. Slebiska Memorial Lineworker Scholarship are Joshua Hadzima (Totino-Grace High School) and Brock Paumen (Maple Lake High School).
Basin Electric Power Cooperative annually awards a scholarship to its distribution cooperative members. Basin is one of WH’s wholesale power suppliers, and is headquartered in Bismarck, N.D. The member recipient of this year’s Basin Electric Scholarship is Kailey DeWolfe (Rockford High School). The Basin Employee Scholarship recipient is Kezia Lee (Dassel-Cokato High School).