Saturday, July 2 2022

A Nansemond River High School student is among three high school students in the Community Electric Cooperative service territory who have each received $1,000 college scholarships awarded by the Education Scholarship Foundation of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Braxton Lewis from Nansemond River joined Windsor High students Alivia Garris from Zuni and Brett Holmes from Franklin as scholarship recipients.

The students were eligible because their parents or guardians are members of the Community Electric Cooperative.

“These scholarships reflect the strong commitment of electric co-ops to advancing educational opportunities among our young people,” said Russell Brown, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Scholarship Foundation and Chairman of the Board of administration of the VMD association. “We congratulate these students on their academic achievement, knowing that they represent a future generation of leaders in their communities.”

The foundation awarded Worth Hudson Scholarships of $1,000 each to 50 students, including Garris and Lewis. They are named in honor of Hudson, the first president of the VMDAEC Education Scholarship Foundation.

Holmes is one of three seniors who have received $1,000 scholarships in memory of Bill Sherrod, the former editor of Cooperative Living magazine. They plan to pursue a career in journalism, English, communications or related fields.

Lewis will attend Virginia Military Institute and major in civil engineering.

“I was delighted to receive this scholarship, because it brings me closer to my goals. I am so happy that scholarships like this are made possible for students like me who don’t want to go into debt after graduation,” he said.

Lewis quoted the famous American wrestler Dan Gable, Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA national champion, to describe his career aspirations: “My valleys are higher than most people’s peaks.

“I’m not taking it that I’m better than anyone else, just that I have such high goals for myself,” Lewis said.

Garris will attend Paul D. Camp Community College and study nutrition. Her career goal is to become a nutritionist and personal trainer.

“I am so honored by those who have chosen to contribute to my college education. I am truly grateful and thankful for their generosity,” she said. “I will work hard to make organizations proud to support me.”

Holmes will attend Virginia Tech and major in sports media and analytics. He described the Bill Sherrod scholarship opportunity as a “big shiny red ball” that was a perfect fit with his career goals.

“Most scholarships are very broad and everyone applies for the same ones. This scholarship meant so much to me, and I’m very, very grateful for that,” said Holmes.

“We are extremely proud to be able to help these deserving young people in our service area further their education, whether at college or university, or learn a trade,” said Steven Harmon, President and CEO of Community Electric Cooperative. .

Since 2001, the Education Scholarship Foundation has provided approximately 840 scholarships totaling more than $860,000 to aspiring students as well as the next generation of powerline workers. The foundation is supported by tax-deductible donations and bequests, proceeds from fundraising events, and CoBank’s Sharing Success program. One hundred percent of donations go to students for scholarships. For more information about donating to the Foundation, visit

Community Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Windsor, is a not-for-profit member-owned energy supplier serving nearly 12,000 homes, farms and businesses in the counties of the Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry and Sussex and the town of Suffolk.


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