Each year, Kankakee Valley REMC Operation Round Up recognizes high school graduating seniors for their outstanding scholastic achievements and commitment to the community through volunteerism. This year, six local students were selected to receive scholarships totaling $8,000.
Kankakee Valley REMC Operation Round Up Trust is a philanthropic organization that awards grants to non-profit organizations in the community. In addition, once a year they award scholarships to students planning to further their education. Since the scholarship was established in 2003, Operation Round Up Trust has awarded one hundred fifty students with scholarships.
This year’s scholarship winners receiving a $2,000 award were Olivia Kroeger, Chesterton High School, and Alyssa Hoover, Crown Point High School. Additionally, $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Kaylee Welkie, LaCrosse High School; Emma O’Brien, Morgan Township High School; Emily Rausch, Winamac Community High School; and Sophia DeRuntz, Chesterton High School.
Scholarship recipients were selected based on their scholastic achievement, extra-curricular activities, volunteerism, and honors received. Additionally, students were asked to write an essay response to a question that had them describing a community or neighborhood improvement project. In addition to describing the project and the steps they would need to take to accomplish the project, they were required to prepare an itemized budget.
“We feel that investing in our youth is investing in the future leaders in our community. This is very important to our organization and part of our commitment to the community. The Operation Round Up scholarship not only provides financial support to students but, more importantly, it recognizes these extraordinary individuals for being leaders in the classroom and the community,” stated Amanda Steeb, director of marketing and communications for Kankakee Valley REMC. “We applaud the academic achievement of these scholarship recipients and wish them luck as they continue their education this fall.”
For recipients to obtain their full scholarship, they are required to complete two of the following activities with the cooperative: attend the annual meeting in August, participate in a community activity, job shadow, or attend a board meeting.
Operation Round Up Trust is funded by Kankakee Valley REMC members volunteering to round up their utility bills each month with the extra change going into the Operation Round Up Trust fund. Funds are distributed quarterly to not-for-profit organizations in the community. Since 2000, Operation Round Up Trust has awarded over one million dollars to not-for-profit community organizations.