Burleson student receives United Cooperative Services scholarship as co-op awards $43,000 to area students

A Burleson homeschool student is one of 15 Johnson County students who received a college scholarship from United Cooperative Services.

Jillian Denman was awarded a $2,000 scholarship July 26 as UCS awarded $43,000 in scholarship awards to member-students during a banquet at the cooperative’s Granbury Office Community Room.

The scholarship award program was created to encourage and assist in the educational pursuits of the co-op’s members and their families as part of a UCS pledge to support and reinvest in the communities it serves.         

“United is more than an electric utility delivering power to 80,000 meters,” United CEO Cameron Smallwood said. “As a member-owned electric cooperative, United invests in the future of our communities by helping the young people we serve realize their higher education dreams.”

 With this year’s scholarship awards, the cooperative will have staked approximately $1.1 million in college tuition funding for 945 deserving area member-students who were continuing their education. Winners are chosen from area-wide applicants based on financial need, leadership and community involvement and school activities.

More than 20 years ago, United awarded its first scholarships to local high school students and returning college students. In 1997, new funds were made available by House Bill 3203, which allows nonprofit electric cooperatives like United to put unclaimed member dividend funds to use for student scholarships. This change in the law allowed United to recover a percentage of those assets previously lost to the state’s general revenue fund and reapply them toward certain, more regionally specific community needs throughout the cooperative’s service territory.

 “These scholarship award winners represent the future of our country, and we think they set a refreshing example for how bright the future may look,” Smallwood said.  “I know these individuals will not waste this opportunity, but instead use the investment the cooperative has made in them to better themselves as they prepare to become positive influences and productive members of our state and country.”

Of the 15 scholarship awards, 12 were in the amount of $2,000. The remaining top three scholarship levels were for $10,000, $5,000 and $4,000 respectively.

The $10,000 winner was Meda Bow, who is home-schooled at Bow Christian Academy.

The $5,000 winner was Riley McKinzie of Stephenville High School, and the $4,000 winner was Carly Cheek of Granbury High School.

In addition to Denman, the $2,000 scholarship winners were;

Grayson Lewis – Cornerstone Christian Academy, Granbury

Lachlyn McPhie – Granbury High School

Melanie Boleng – Granbury High School

Elizabeth Davenport – Hill College

Kasee Bouchey – Stephenville High School

Golan Balding – North Central Texas Academy

Ashton Garner – Stephenville High School

Bailey McDaniel – West Texas A&M University

Katelynn Vandenberg – Lingleville High School

Matthew Trammell – Trammell Family Academy

Miriya Little – Graford ISD

“We are always amazed at the talented pool of students who apply for our scholarships each year. And certainly, this year’s crop of students was no exception. Being selected as overall scholarship finalists is quite a feat,” Smallwood said. “We wish these young men and women continued success, and we hope they will see these scholarship awards as a means for accomplishing many more great things in the future.”

About United Cooperative Services:

Established in 1938 and headquartered in Burleson, Texas, United Cooperative Services is an electric distribution cooperative serving nearly 85,000 meters and more than 58,000 members. United plays a key role in the economic development of its communities and unlike a private utility, the cooperative is a not-for-profit business owned by the members it serves.  Maintaining more than 10,500 miles of energized line, United serves all or parts of Johnson, Erath, Hood, Bosque, Somervell, Palo Pinto, Coryell, Eastland, Comanche, Stephens, Young, Hamilton, Tarrant and Ellis counties.

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