SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative is very proud to be one of a number of businesses in our area that remain locally owned, locally governed and locally operated for the past 83 years in Southern Illinois. Our Cooperative embraces improving the quality of life in the communities that it serves. Your Cooperative remains committed to its communities and the following is just a few examples of how your electric cooperative is striving to make a difference right here in Southern Illinois.
Your Cooperative coordinates an education grant program known as the Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grant. Your Cooperative offers a total of $4,600 in grants to fund innovative, unfunded projects or materials. Qualifying projects are those that improve the learning environment or increase educational resources for the school and the students. Every year, your cooperative sends grant applications to all of the schools in the 10 county service area and assists school administrators in applying for these grants. For the 2020-2021 school year SEIEC awarded grants to Hamilton County Jr./Sr. High School, Hardin County Elementary School, Goreville Elementary School, Eldorado Elementary School and West Side Primary in Harrisburg.
SouthEastern also invites all twenty-three area high schools to participate in a program known as the “Youth To Washington Tour”. Students are invited to complete an application and forward the application to SouthEastern for evaluation by staff personnel. The two best applicants are awarded the opportunity to participate in a one-day tour of the State’s capital in Springfield, Illinois and then on to a one week, expense paid tour of our Nation’s capital in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the Youth Tour was canceled in 2020 and 2021.
SouthEastern is also participating in a statewide scholarship fund known as the Illinois Electric Cooperative Memorial Scholarship Fund as a means of honoring deceased members of the electric cooperative family. Every year, your cooperative sends information to all of the schools in the 10-county service area with instructions on how students can apply for these scholarships. The program will award twelve scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each. Six scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who are the sons or daughters of an Illinois electric cooperative member receiving service from the cooperative who are enrolling in an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school in the United States. A seventh scholarship, the Earl W. Struck Memorial Scholarship, will be awarded to a student who is the son or daughter of an Illinois electric cooperative director or employee. Four additional scholarships will be awarded to a high school senior who are the sons or daughters of Illinois electric cooperative members, employees or directors who will be enrolling full-time at a two-year Illinois community college. The scholarship must be used for educational costs, and the student must enter college within one year from the time the scholarship is awarded. Scholarships are awarded based upon grade point average, college entrance test scores, work and volunteer experience, participation in school and community activities, biographical statement and knowledge of cooperatives, as demonstrated by a short essay. The twelfth annual scholarship is known as the “LaVern and Nola McEntire Lineworker’s Scholarship.” This scholarship will help pay for costs to attend the lineworker’s school conducted by the AIEC in conjunction with Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, IL. Relatives of co-op employees or directors are eligible for the lineworker’s scholarship, as are individuals who have served or are serving in the armed forces or National Guard.
These are just a few examples of how your electric cooperative is striving to make a difference in the communities it serves.