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Eight local seniors are the recipients of $52,000 in scholarships from Benton REA.
All three recipients of the cooperative’s $4,000 Trade & Technical scholarship are from West Richland. They are Coral Bears, daughter of Jim and Jennifer Bears; Ethan Henning, son of Jake and Diana Henning; and Garrett Collins, son of Jason and Lori Collins.
The five recipients of the $8,000 Academic scholarships reside in West Richland. They are Shreya Mehta, daughter of Sunil Mehta and Priya Sabharwal; Madison Slade, daughter of Roscoe and Shawna Slade; Ella Stam, daughter of Erik and Jaqueline Stam; Brookelyn Peterson, daughter of Kirk and D’anna Peterson; and Sydney Smith, daughter of Blake and Sheri Smith.
These rising stars plan to continue their education across the country, studying firefighting, electrical lineworker training, electrical maintenance and automation, STEM, humanities, elementary education, environmental engineering, orthopedic sports medicine and chemical engineering.
Coral, daughter of Jim and Jennifer Bears, will graduate from Hanford High School and the Tri-Tech firefighting program in June with Wildland and Emergency Medical Response certification. She hopes to attend Columbia Basin College and the North Bend Fire Training Academy in the fall. She wants to study both fire science and construction management.
“I’m really interested in fire science because I want to help people every day,” she says. “Construction management is enjoyable to me, and I gain a lot of knowledge from it.”
During high school, Coral was involved in Drama Club. She was the head lighting manager her sophomore year. She also participated in Link Crew at Hanford, along with various volunteer opportunities at Tri-Tech Skills Center.
“This scholarship will help me be successful,” she says. “It will help me with my future, and it’s something I am very proud of.”
Ethan, son of Jake and Diana Henning, will graduate from Hanford High School in June. He will attend VOLTA Line School in Warrenton, Oregon, to achieve his goal of becoming a journeyman lineman. Lineworkers build and maintain the electrical power system, and Ethan hopes he can participate in an apprenticeship soon.
“I want to go into this trade because I have heard first-hand how rewarding and fun the job is,” he says. “I have done some job shadowing, and I really enjoyed it.”
Ethan played soccer, football, basketball and track throughout high school. On the weekends he enjoys mountain biking and skiing.
“This scholarship allows me to not worry about where money is going to come from for my schooling,” he says. “It takes some stress off my shoulders, and I’m very grateful.”
Garrett, son of Jason and Lori Collins, is graduating from Hanford High School in June. He will attend the Electrical Maintenance and Automation Program at Spokane Community College in the fall with the goal of becoming a high-voltage electrician.
Garrett will follow his family’s footsteps when he enters the electrical industry. His father is a substation electrician for the Bonneville Power Administration, and his brother is enrolled at Spokane Community College in the Fluid Power Trade Program.
During high school Garrett attended Tri-Tech Skills Center where he took pre-electrical and welding classes. He was voted the most industrious student in the welding program last fall.
“Receiving this generous scholarship is a financial stepping stone that is much appreciated as education costs rise,” he says. “It makes my education journey less stressful.”
Shreya, daughter of Sunil Mehta and Priya Sabharwal, will graduate from Hanford High School in June. She is currently deciding between two colleges: Brown University and University of California Berkeley.At college, she hopes to study something interdisciplinary that integrates STEM and humanities.
“Humanities and STEM are equally essential to making the world a better place,” she says. “After college, I’m interested in public service. Through public service, I hope to influence policy.”
During high school she was involved in class council, serving as Executive Council Associated Student Body president her senior year. She is excited about her future.
“I’m really thrilled to be receiving the REA scholarship because I am excited to expand my perspectives at college,” she says. “The financial support enables my academic journey.”
Madison, daughter of Roscoe and Shawna Slade, will graduate from Richland High School and continue her education at Washington State University Tri-Cities in the fall.
Throughout high school, Madison participated in Running Start at WSU Tri-Cities. She was involved in Buddy Club and leadership, and was voted captain of her volleyball team both freshman and sophomore years.
After volunteering in her mom’s kindergarten classroom, Madison decided she wanted to study elementary education.
“I chose to study elementary education to help students reach their potential,” she says. “When you see a student understand a concept, the light in their eyes makes it all worth it.”
Madison is excited to make a difference in children’s lives.
“This scholarship will help me reduce my financial burdens,” she says. “I’ll be able to fully focus on my academic studies.”
Eight local seniors are the recipients of $52,000 from Benton REA.
Brookelyn, daughter of Kirk and D’anna Peterson, is graduating Summa Cum Laude from Richland High School. She will attend Grand Canyon University to study nursing.
During high school, Brookelyn participated in Sports Medicine Club and various sports, including varsity soccer, golf and snowboarding. Her personal experience with sports injuries inspired her to become an orthopedic sports medicine nurse practitioner.
“I want to help others and become the support system that so many people are in search of,” she says. “I’ve been through the ringer when it comes to surgeries and sports injuries, so being able to relate and empathize will help me connect with patients on a personal level.”
Brookelyn is excited to start her college career.
“This scholarship means so much to me,” she says. “It’s evidence that my hard work paid off. I can start my college career in good fashion.”
Sydney, daughter of Blake and Sheri Smith, is graduating as valedictorian from Hanford High School in June. She will attend Brigham Young University in the fall to study chemical engineering.
“I love learning about how the world works on a microscopic level and using that knowledge to make a difference,” she says. “Math and science have always been my strong subjects.”
During high school, Sydney participated in soccer, National Honor Society, Key Club, Link Crew and orchestra as a cellist. She has worked at Energy Northwest as a paid intern for the past two years.
“This scholarship means so much to me,” she says. “Even though I’ve been working hard and doing all I can, the cost of my education is still staggering.”
After college, Sydney hopes to work in a place where she can use science to solve challenging problems with innovative solutions.
Benton REA uses unclaimed ownership credits to provide scholarships to high school seniors whose parents or guardians are members of Benton REA.
Academic scholarship applications are reviewed by two committees and judged on the quality of the applicants’ academic achievements and a researched essay. Trade and Technical scholarships are awarded based on the student’s experience in their field and recommendation letters. Benton REA received 26 applications for the cooperative’s 2022 scholarships.
Benton REA’s Academic scholarships are issued to the students’ college or university in $2,000 increments throughout their continuing education. Recipients must maintain a high level of academic success to receive the full $8,000. The $4,000 Trade and Technical scholarships are issued to the students’ trade school, not to exceed the cost of tuition, books and trade-related equipment.
Applications for Benton REA’s 2023 scholarships will become available in the fall. To learn more about these scholarships and read the recipients’ essays, visit www.BentonREA.org/scholarships.