Area students earn scholarships from local electric co-op

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2023

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Three high school seniors from the service territory of Community Electric Cooperative each received $1,000 college scholarships awarded by the Education Scholarship Foundation of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC). 

A CEC news release noted that the 2023 scholarship recipients are the following: 

  • Whitman Clark, a student at Southampton High School; 
  • Caleb Merilic, a student at Windsor High School; and
  • Carson Pierce, a student at Windsor High School.

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

“These worthy students are to be commended on their records of academic achievement and  extracurricular accomplishment,” said Sam Brumberg, the foundation’s executive director. “Our foundation is proud to award these future cooperative leaders scholarships, so that they may  further their higher education. Electric cooperatives are committed to serve their communities,  and these scholarships are part of those efforts.” 

The foundation awarded Worth Hudson Scholarships of $1,000 each to 41 students, including  Clark, Merilic and Pierce. The scholarships are named in honor of Hudson, the first chairman of the VMDAEC Education Scholarship Foundation. 

Clark will attend the University of Alabama and major in news media with a sports  concentration. His career goal is to enter sports broadcasting. 

“I am more than grateful to be not only considered, but to be rewarded this scholarship,” he said. “It will be instrumental to me in my plan for a college education, and I cannot overstate how thankful I am for this award.” 

Merilic will major in biology at Christopher Newport University, where he has been accepted into the President’s Leadership Program. 

“I have learned if you work hard you can achieve anything,” he said. “I am so grateful for this scholarship because it will help me pursue my education to become a veterinarian.” 

Pierce will attend Southside Virginia Community College and enroll in its Power Line Worker Program. Upon completion of the 11-week program, he looks forward to securing a job as a power line worker in the Tidewater area. 

“I am very appreciative to Community Electric Cooperation and the VMDAEC Foundation Board for being awarded the Worth M. Hudson Memorial Scholarship,” he said. “This award will help to fund my enrollment at SVCC. I am very excited and thankful to have received this award.” 

“This is a very fulfilling time of the year for us,” CEC President and CEO Steve Harmon said. “We’re pleased to be in a position where we can help these outstanding students from our service area continue their education, whether at a college or university, or in learning a trade.” 

Since 2001, the Education Scholarship Foundation has provided more than 900 scholarships  totaling more than $900,000 to aspiring college students, as well as to the next generation of  electric lineworkers. The foundation is funded through tax-deductible donations and bequests  from individuals, proceeds from fundraising events and CoBank’s Sharing Success Program. 

For information on donating to the foundation, visit 

Community Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Windsor, is a not-for-profit member-owned  energy provider that serves nearly 12,000 homes, farms and businesses in the counties of Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry and Sussex, and the city of Suffolk. For more information, go to