As a cooperative, we operate as a non-profit. Therefore, after all operating expenses are paid, we allocate remaining margins back to members in the form of capital credits. With Board approval, capital credits are retired (paid out) periodically. Often, the intended recipient cannot be located and their capital credits go unclaimed. Because one of our core principles is education, unclaimed capital credits are applied to MEC’s Education Trust Fund, which helps to fund our educational programs.
We developed the following educational programs to not only support our Seven Cooperative Principles, but to invest in future leaders and contribute to the welfare of our communities:
Improvements for Education Program (IEP)
MEC’s Improvements for Education Program (IEP), provides us with the opportunity to donate funds to local schools for necessary items and/or services that may not otherwise receive funding. In recent years, these items have included iPads, interactive smart boards, field trips, and more!
Each fall, all K-12 schools located within MEC’s service area, as well as schools that our members’ students attend, are invited to apply for a substantial monetary donation.
Annual Scholarship Program
In addition to MEC’s EEE Program, IEP, Youth Tour and the donations we make directly to area schools, we are proud to offer annual scholarships to our members and their dependents.
Each year, we award fifteen $1,000 scholarships to local students who are working to achieve their educational goals in Montana. In early-December, scholarship applications are available on our website. From this group of applicants, fourteen recipients are selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship. A fifteenth, and final, $1,000 scholarship, is awarded to one lucky applicant, during our Annual Meeting.
MEC also awards two $1,000 scholarships to local students who are currently attending, or who plan to attend, an accredited Line School in the state of Montana.
Scholarship applications are available on December 1st of each year and are accepted until 5 pm on the last Monday of January.
MECA Memorial Scholarship
The annual Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA) Memorial Scholarships are available to our members each fall. There are four $500 Memorial Scholarships available for students across Montana (one per district).
In order to apply, applicants or a parent/guardian, must be a member of MEC or another MECA electric cooperative.
Applicants must submit their Memorial Scholarship Application, official transcripts and letters of reference to MEC (Attention Kelsey) by 5 PM on Monday, January 25, 2021.
We know some of the brightest students reside within our district schools and we want to give them an opportunity to experience the past, present and future of our great country!
Each November, we accept Youth Tour essays from Sophomore and Junior students whose parent or legal guardian is a member at MEC. The winner of the essay contest will take part in a one-week, all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to join more than 1,500 students from across the United States.
Here, students will watch history come to life as they explore museums, memorials and monuments, and rub elbows with US Representatives and Senators, all while learning about the history of rural electrification and the value it brings to our communities. Go to our Youth Tour page.
Youth Ambassador Program
MEC’s Youth Ambassador Program is a distinguished opportunity for High School juniors and seniors to contribute to their communities and enhance their leadership skills. Students chosen to serve as Youth Ambassadors will play an essential role in our cooperative and within their local communities.
Ambassadors can expect to partner with student leaders from other school districts, collaborate with our leadership team to grow their understanding of cooperatives, engage in their local communities through acts of service, and interact with our membership. In exchange for their service, students will receive a certificate of achievement, earn eligibility for scholastic awards, and receive a small per diem for each meeting attended.
Do you know a student that is a natural-born leader? One that is willing to step up and make a difference in his or her community? Perhaps they have a spirit of volunteerism and a desire to engage with community leaders and non-profits. If this sounds like a student you know, encourage them to apply! A one-hour meeting each month could open countless doors and create an abundance of opportunities. Go to our Youth Ambassador page.