Photo: Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association’s Manager of Member Services, Leif Munkel (pictured in the front row, middle left) and Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith (front row, middle right), presented the “Big Check” to several of the 28 JC students receiving a scholarship from PRVEPA’s Roundup for Education Scholarship program and are pictured left to right, Gage Herring-Foxworth; Jaelynn Peak-Foxworth; (Leif Munkel) Thomas Bozeman-Foxworth; Clayton Cothern-Hattiesburg; Robert Johnson-Columbia; (Dr. Jesse Smith) Mae Miller-Sumrall and Adrienne Williamson-Sumrall.
ELLISVILLE – Twenty-eight Jones College students were able to continue their college education with tuition assistance from Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association’s “Round Up for Education” scholarship program. A check for $14,000 collected from PRVEPA members who rounded up their bills each month was divided amongst the Jones College students to receive a $500 scholarship.
“It means a lot because it is extremely helpful to pay for books and school,” said Jones College freshman from Foxworth. “I’m grateful to everybody that gives to students such as me. Every penny counts for students because every little bit makes paying for college easier.”
The electro-mechanical technology major said this scholarship has inspired him to pay it forward. “When I start paying my electric bill, I want my money to go to students like me,” said Herring.
PRVEPA Manager of Members Services, Leif Munkel said 187 community college students throughout the PRVEPA’s 12-county service area have received a financial boost from the generosity of its members who have more than 51,000 meters this year. Since the Round Up for Education Scholarship program begin nine years ago by members who “round-up” their bills to the nearest dollar each month have helped 1,838 students earn college degrees through this scholarship. PRVEPA CEO/General Manager, Matthew Ware said education is vital to improving the future for all of us in south Mississippi and every little bit helps.
“Sometimes the smallest gestures, like donating 50 cents can make the biggest impact in our communities, said CEO/General Manager Matthew Ware. “While it may not seem like your spare change can do much, but when combined with the generosity of your fellow Pearl River Valley Electric members, you can help change the life of a fellow member and improve the quality of life in your communities. Working together is the cooperative way and that can make a big difference.”
The $500 scholarships are available to any participating PRVEPA members, as well as for their spouses or dependent children who are enrolled as freshmen enrolled at a community college in Mississippi. Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith believes this is a fantastic partnership between PRVEPA and its members and this is one of the best investments that a community can make.
“This scholarship program is very beneficial to our students at Jones College,” said Smith. “An education is a gateway to prosperity and a great life here in America. Every penny helps and this is certainly a great investment. We are very thankful to have the community’s support.”
To ensure the program continues to be viable in the future, ten percent of the annual funds collected are set aside in an endowed fund for future use and is overseen by the PineBelt Foundation. The remaining money was divided equally between the applicants. Scholarship recipients this year include 88 students attending Pearl River Community College, 45 students at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and 28 at Jones College. An additional 26 students are attending nine other state community colleges. Round Up for Education funds collected after August 1, go towards next year’s scholarships. Applications for 2022 scholarships are now available.
Jones College’s PRVEPA Scholarship Recipients 2021
Alfred Acosta, Hattiesburg-Lamar Christian HS
Jalasia Akins, Columbia-East Marion HS
Jakob Anderson, Lumberton-Purvis HS
Sierrah Beasley, Foxworth-West Marion HS
Thomas Bozeman, Foxworth-West Marion HS
Raven Breland, Purvis-Oak Grove HS
Jacqueline Clark, Hattiesburg-FCAHS
Clayton Cothern, Hattiesburg-Presbyterian Christian HS
Trevor Courtney, Bassfield-Columbia Academy
Abigail Hennis, Hattiesburg-FCAHS
Gage Herring, Foxworth-West Marion HS
Laural Lynn Hunt, Perkinston-Sacred Heart HS
Robert Johnson, Columbia-Columbia Academy
Hadlee Johnson, Hattiesburg-Oak Grove HS
Le’Joun Lewis, Columbia-East Marion HS
Ryan Little, Sumrall-Sumrall HS
William Lott, Hattiesburg-Sumrall HS
Cade Miller, Sumrall-Sumrall HS
Mae Miller, Sumrall-Oak Grove HS
Sara Morgan, Foxworth-West Marion HS
Jaelynn Peak, Foxworth-West Marion HS
Amy Polk, Columbia-West Marion HS
Dyani Weary, Columbia-East Marion HS
Hope Weathersby, Hattiesburg-Oak Grove HS
Hailey Webb, Purvis-Purvis HS
Blake Wilberding, Hattiesburg-Presbyterian Christian HS
Adrienne Williamson, Sumrall-Sumrall HS
Wallace Wood , Hattiesburg-Oak Grove HS