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Berkeley Electric Cooperative is excited to announce several scholarship opportunities for its members totaling $25,000. These scholarships are open to Berkeley Electric members ranging from high school sophomores to adult members. Applications are currently being accepted for all scholarships on the cooperative’s website under the "My Community" menu.


Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Youth Tour has been cancelled for the second year in a row. However, it has been replaced with the Virtual Youth Experience where high school sophomores and juniors get the chance to engage, collaborate and learn with other students from across the state as well as with state and federal leaders. This five-day virtual experience will allow students to hone their leadership skills and add to their resume while having fun and winning prizes. Students will also be able to compete for a $5,000 statewide podcast scholarship and an additional $5,000 community project scholarship. Additionally, there will also be a guaranteed $2,500 local scholarship essay winner chosen from Berkeley Electric participants. Deadline to apply is February 19.


Local high school seniors also have an opportunity to apply for up to $10,000 in scholarships offered by the trust board of the co-op’s Operation Round-Up program. The board is offering ten (10) scholarships for children of members/guardians of Berkeley Electric Cooperative. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to each of the seven high schools served by the co-op with an additional three at-large scholarships to be awarded for members’ children who are attending neighboring high schools or home-schooled seniors. Deadline to apply is April 2.


The final scholarship opportunity is open to women returning to school to earn college degrees through the Jenny Ballard Opportunity Scholarship program. The scholarship is a one-time award based on financial need and personal goals and is sponsored by Women Involved in Rural Electrification (WIRE), a service organization associated with South Carolina’s electric cooperatives. In 2020, two candidates each received a $2,500 award. For Lana Colombo, one of last year’s recipients, the scholarship helped pay tuition at Trident Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Charleston. The deadline to apply for this year’s scholarship is June 1.

“As a community-minded cooperative, it is our goal to improve the lives of our members whenever possible,” said Johanna Cooper, BEC public relations specialist. “Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted our ability to help our members in person so the co-op is concentrating on educational outreach efforts that will have a lasting impact in our communities.”