Board awards record number of scholarships

Published 10:33 am Saturday, May 20, 2023

Thirty graduating high school seniors in Southside Electric Cooperative’s (SEC) service area are receiving Southside Opportunity Fund (SOF) scholarships to help with the costs of higher education.

In late April, the SOF board selected the 30 recipients to receive $36,000 in scholarships after reviewing applications and personal statements from 47 students. The recipients, who represent 13 of the 18 counties served by SEC, received scholarships of either $2,000 or $1,000. Both the number awarded and the total in scholarship dollars are record amounts.

“By investing in the future of our young students, we are not only helping them achieve their personal goals, but we are investing in a brighter future for Southside Virginia,” said SEC President and CEO Jason Loehr.

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Receiving $1,000 scholarships are Carrington Detrick and Kyla McCargo. Both seniors attend Prince Edward County High School. In addition, Steven Gills is receiving a $1,000 scholarship. He is a senior at Cumberland High School.

More about the program 

Since the scholarship program started in 2016, 171 grants totaling $199,000 have been awarded.

Scholarships are awarded through a competitive process based on financial need, academic achievement and a personal statement. Students’ parents or guardians must be SEC members.

In addition to the scholarships, the SOF board annually contributes to educating future lineworkers attending Southside Virginia Community College’s Power Line Worker Training School in Blackstone. The SOF board approved $5,000 this year. Fifteen current SEC lineworkers graduated from the school.

Southside Opportunity Fund scholarships are supported by donations from SEC and others along with proceeds from a golf tournament and skeet shoot. Information about 2024 scholarships will be available early next year at and from high school counselors.