Youth programs and scholarships are a prime example of how Graham County Electric Cooperative (GCEC) invests in the future of its members. The funds generated by unclaimed capital credits and from Operation Round Up make both of the following programs possible.
Since 1999, GCEC has provided high school students from its service territory the opportunity of a lifetime with an all expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. with the Washington Youth Tour. This year, five students and a chaperone from GCEC attended the tour that lasted from June 13th to 19th: Ayla Finch and Chris Curtis, both from Safford High School; Garet Morris from Pima High School; Joshua Simmons from Thatcher High School; Karlee Napier from Ft. Thomas High School; and Tracy Botkins, a GCEC employee, served as chaperone. They traveled to Washington with Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative and with students from electric cooperatives across Arizona. While there, they met students from electric cooperatives across the country. The tour took them to Washington’s vast number of monuments and memorials, Mount Vernon, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Smithsonian museums, Arlington National Cemetery, the front of the White House, a Washington Nationals baseball game, and others. The tour also included not only the U.S. Capitol Building, but a visit with an Arizona member of Congress.
A number of graduating seniors received our support for their future endeavors through a scholarship from GCEC Foundation. Over $10,000 in scholarship funds was awarded in several different ways. Four students each received a $1000 scholarship: Marlo Day from Pima High School, Taylor Broadhead from Safford High School, Bryant Stailey from Thatcher High School, and Maycee Michaels from Willcox High School. Four students received each received a $500 scholarship: Kaylie Preston and Laigha Rope from Ft. Thomas High School, and Mariah Estrada and Makenzie Pooler from Mt. Graham High School.
Under special circumstances, the foundation also provided $1,000 scholarships to high school students: Briana Duran and Mason Palmer both from Pima, Dean Haller and Jesse Chidester both from Thatcher.