McKinley Thomas, SVEC Washington Youth Tour delegate from Grundy County High School, was named the second place winner in the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s state-wide writing contest. She will be awarded a $2,000 college scholarship to the school of her choice for her accomplishment.
McKinley Thomas a rising senior from Grundy County High School, was awarded a $2,000- scholarship in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 12, from Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative and the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.
Thomas was in the nation’s capital as a delegate of the 2018 Washington Youth Tour June 8-14. The annual event, sponsored by SVEC and the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, provides young leaders with an opportunity to explore the nation’s capital, learn about government and cooperatives and develop their leadership skills.
Students were selected for the trip by writing short stories titled “Electric Cooperatives – Going Beyond the Wires” that explain how co-ops provide communities with much more than electric power. Thomas was awarded the Robert McCarty Memorial Scholarship for having the second place story of the more than 10,000 papers submitted across the state.
McCarty was an employee of Volunteer Energy Cooperative and longtime chaperone on the annual Youth Tour. McCarty lost a battle with cancer in 2015, and sponsoring cooperatives renamed the scholarship in honor of his love for young people.
“Taking advantage of the amazing opportunity to have 900 words change my life was the greatest decision of my life. It was an honor to be a part of something so big that gives back. I am very thankful to have these amazing memories that will stay with me forever. Thanks to Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative and the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, I am the proud and grateful recipient of a $2,000 scholarship,” Thomas said.
“The Washington Youth Tour is a great opportunity to help students learn about public policy, cooperatives and leadership,” says Mike Partin, SVEC president/CEO “Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative is proud to help prepare our communities’ next generation of leaders, and we are excited to see the impact McKinley will have on our community.”
Thomas plans to attend Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida for a degree in Marine Biology with a minor in Zoology.