North Fork of the Blackfoot River

Youth Involvement

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:

Electronic Education Equipment program (EEE)

The EEE Program is a joint-venture between Missoula Electric Cooperative, Energy Partners and Blackfoot Communications.

Each year, we accept applications from schools residing within our service areas. Once applications are received and schools are selected, student representatives from each school are invited to attend a luncheon. At the luncheon, each school will receive a monetary donation to use towards electronic equipment in their classrooms.

This program has been serving local schools for three decades! Read more about our EEE program.

improvements in education program (IEP)

The IEP Program helps to provide educational equipment, electronics, supplies and field trips to schools within the communities we serve.

Schools located within our service area or schools that educate our member’s dependents, are eligible for a monetary donation each year. Once we receive and process a school’s request, a Trustee will personally deliver the donation to the school. Read more about our IEP program.

scholarship program

In addition to donations made directly to area schools, Missoula Electric Cooperative is proud to offer annual academic scholarships to our members and their dependents.

Each year, we typically award fifteen $1,000 scholarships to local students who are working to achieve their educational goals in Montana. In early December, scholarship application packets are available for download 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 in March. Go to our Scholarship page.

youth tour

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 ambassadors

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.