Chester County High School student earns scholarship from STEMC

Tina Morris, Communications and Community Outreach Specialist of Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation awards Rilee Kat Vest a $200 check for the best story in the Southwest TN EMC service area. She will be receiving $1,500 in lieu of the 2020 Washington Youth Tour.

Rilee Kat Vest is one of seven 2020 Washington Youth Tour Creative writing and Scholarship Competition winners.
This opportunity is offered to all High School Juniors in Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation’s service area. From Chester County High School this year there were two winners; Rilee Kat Vest – Trip winner and Katlyn Davis – $75 cash winner.
The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association had to make the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Washington Youth Tour amid concerns over COVID-19.
The event presented by the state’s consumer-owned electric cooperatives takes more than 130 high school juniors from across the state to Washington, D.C. each summer to learn about history, leadership and public policy.
“We are heart broken to make this announcement, but the health and safety and well-being of our delegates are our primary concerns,” says Todd Blocker, vice president of member services and Tennessee’s Washington Youth Tour director. “Youth Tour includes visits to the most historically significant and meaningful places in our nation. With large crowds common, TECA is unable to fully protect students from exposure. This creates a risk we are simply not willing to take.”
“We are mourning the connections that will not be formed, the opportunities that will not be realized and the memories that will not be made,” says Tina Morris, communications and community outreach specialist at Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation.
In lieu of the trip, STEMC will be giving “trip” winners, like Rilee Kat, $1,500 scholarships in the form of Tennessee Stars 529 accounts to be used to continue their education.
Rilee Kat’s story was selected as the best story in the Southwest TN EMC service area and she was awarded an additional $200 prize.
This story entitled, Electric Cooperatives: The Power to Be, will be published in the August 2020 issue of The Tennessee Magazine.