Four local students will begin their college careers with a little financial help as recipients of Midwest Energy Cooperative’s 2017 scholarship program. All four are sons or daughters of Midwest members or customers.

“Investing in our youth is one great way to achieve our vision of vibrant, relevant and sustainable rural communities. Our scholarship program takes some of the financial burden off families while rewarding outstanding high school students,” says Patty Nowlin, director of communications and community relations.

$1000 scholarships were recently awarded to the following students for their leadership and academic achievement:

Kayla Cromer is the daughter of Kelly J. and Kelly A. Cromer and a graduate of Dowagiac Union High School. She was a member of the National Honor Society and completed 33 college credits at Southwestern Michigan College (SMC) during her junior and senior years. She also served on the student senate and the 4-H Club, and volunteered with the Rotary Interact food drive, local schools and the Cass County Fair. She will continue studies at SMC.

Audrey Fenwick, daughter of Bob and Cindy Fenwick and graduate of Three Rivers High School, has dedicated over 150 hours to volunteerism. She’s active in her youth group, plays violin for the Kalamazoo Jr. Symphony Orchestra, and participated in three national Pathfinder Experience Bible Quiz Bowls. She will attend Glen Oaks Community College.

Katherine Hurrle, daughter of Karen Murphy and Albert Hurrle, is a graduate of Dowagiac Union High School where she was vice president of the National Technical Honors Society and member of the National Honor Society. She volunteered with a soup kitchen and United Way, and was team captain of the Front Row Crew. During high school, she earned her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license, and currently works as a lifeguard and EMT. She plans to attend Cornerstone University.

Ruben Vorster, son of Tom and Tanja Jones and graduate of Mendon High School, served as leadership ambassador at the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, and president of the National Honor Society. He earned All State for the 3200m relay in track and field, and was named All Conference and 2016 Sturgis Journal Prep Football Dream Team player. He will attend Albion College.