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Since the end of World War II, college education has been the key ingredient in America’s recipe for success. Time and again, education has paved the way for individual achievement, which in turn serves as a building block for enhanced quality of life for everyone.

     The societal transformation triggered by open access to education has been especially important for folks in the rural reaches of our country. Thanks to education, farm land is more productive. Markets are better understood. Modern conveniences are no longer limited to city dwellers. Young men and women have alternatives beyond farming and small town life. Education, without question, has narrowed the quality of life gap for rural America.

     Recognizing the role education plays in the lives of its members, Grand Valley Power has established a strong scholarship program. The cornerstone of the program is a four-year renewable Jack Broughton – CMU Scholarship. Named for the cooperative’s long-time general manager, this four-year award, good for $2,000 per year, targets deserving students who choose to stay close to home and attend Colorado Mesa University. Broughton, holder of an engineering degree and a Masters of Business Administration, helped establish the CU/CMU Mechanical Engineering Program. To honor his legacy, the GVP Board of Directors awards this scholarship to the applicant who best exemplifies Jack’s practical, no-nonsense approach to getting things done, with preference given to applicants pursuing a mechanical engineering degree.

     In addition to the four-year scholarship, Grand Valley Power offers six $1,500 scholarships that cooperative members and their children can apply towards the cost of tuition at any accredited college or vocational school in pursuit of an undergraduate degree.

     Grand Valley Power's scholarship offering also includes a $1,500 Western Colorado Community College scholarship. This scholarship was created to promote the educational pursuits of students in Grand Valley Power's service territory specifically for the purpose of obtaining a post-secondary education from Western Colorado Community College.

     To encourage young men and women to consider a technical career in the electric utility industry, Grand Valley Power's third scholarship offering is a $2,000 scholarship to the Western Community College Line Worker Program. Experts predict a shortage of line workers in the near future, so scholarship recipients following this path will enjoy a strong market for their skills. 

     Funding these scholarships is a great way for Grand Valley Power to support the local economy. Since the award dollars come from unclaimed capital credits, the impact on rates is negligible. Investing in education has proven to be one of the best investments around. With economic doldrums continuing, and jobs still hard to find, investment in education is even more critical, especially for rural America. As one prominent educator noted, “if you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” 


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