“Supporting our communities and encouraging our youth to work hard and follow their dreams is at the foundation of cooperative principles,” stated Dan Dutton, BEC’s District 1 Trustee. “BEC awards the annual scholarships based upon eligibility including co-op membership, a personal statement essay, financial need, scholastic achievement, as well as school and community activities. We are honored to award ten scholarships this year.”
The 2018 BEC scholarship winners are:
• Chase R. Ostrum, Absarokee High School, son of Chad Ostrum and Jodi Heard of Fishtail, Montana. Chase plans to attend Northwest College in the study of animal science.
• Justice David Wood, Belfry High School, son of Lisa Wood of Bearcreek, Montana. Justice plans to attend City College-MSU Billings.
• Katelin Aisenbrey, Bridger High School, daughter of Doug and Denise Aisenbrey of Bridger, Montana. Katelin will attend Northwest College in pursuit of a degree in agricultural business. Ms. Aisenbrey is also the distinguished recipient of BEC’s $500 MECA Candidate Scholarship.
• Rachel LaFlex, Columbus High School, daughter of Russel and Denise LaFlex of Columbus, Montana. Rachel will attend Rocky Mountain College to study music education and play on the soccer team.
• Ashley Richardson, Fromberg High School, daughter of Jason and Wanda Richardson of Fromberg, Montana. Ashley will attend Montana State University-Western in pursuit of her veterinary technician degree.
• Taylor Marie Wright, Joliet High School, daughter of Ronnie and Tisa Wright of Roberts, Montana. Taylor will attend Northwest College in pursuit of her career as a Radiologic Technician in a rural community.
• Ethan D. Follett, Powell High School, son of Leroy and Karen Follett of Powell, Wyoming. Ethan will attend Northwest College this fall to begin his quest of a degree in materials science and engineering.
• Solomon Arno, Rapelje High School, son of Nate and Sara Arno of Rapelje, Montana. Solomon will attend City College-MSU Billings in the Paramedic/Fire Science program.
• Cooper Mann, Red Lodge High School, son of Michelle Mann of Roberts, Montana. Cooper will attend the University of Montana in the fall to pursue a career in sports medicine.
• Alexxander M. Kosel, Roberts High School, son of Daniel and Theresa Kosel of Roberts, Montana. Alexxander will attend Eastern Oregon University in pursuit of a degree in biological chemistry.
BEC funds college scholarships with unclaimed capital credit dollars. Following Montana state law for unclaimed property, the law requires BEC to either relinquish the unclaimed property to the state or use it for educational purposes-the cooperative board chooses to fund scholarships.
“These scholarships have been a core part of our cooperative practice for years,” said Julie Lindgren, Board President. “We have a role in keeping rural communities strong, and we’re happy to be able to support our young people in such a direct way.”
BEC’s scholarships are being awarded at a time when the average annual tuition hovers near $10,000 at public universities and over $35,000 at private colleges, which does not include room, board, and other expenses. During the average four years in advanced education, students can expect the annual cost to increase by an average of 3.2% at public universities and 2.4% at private colleges.1
The BEC Board of Trustees and Staff congratulates all 2018 graduates and wishes each and every student success in their future endeavors. The Co-op also expresses much appreciation to the participating high school counselors for their assistance in the selection process.
1 Goldy-Brown, Sarah. The Average Cost of College in 2018. May 1, 2018. Online. https://www.studentdebtrelief.us/news/average-cost-of-college-2018/
The BEC 2018 Scholarship Winners:
Chase R. Ostrum, Absarokee High School
Justice David Wood, Belfry High School
Katlin Aisenbrey, Bridger High School
Rachel LaFlex, Columbus High School
Ashley Richardson, Fromberg High School
Taylor Marie Wright, Joliet High School
Ethan D. Follett, Powell High School
Solomon Arno, Rapelje High School
Cooper Mann, Red Lodge High School
Alexxander M. Kosel, Roberts High School