Palmetto Electric knows the importance of education and is proud to recognize the students who were selected to receive scholarships in 2021.
R.D. Bennett Scholarship
Tess Sanford, 17, of Hilton Head Island, is the winner of the 2021 R.D. Bennett Community Service Scholarship sponsored by South Carolina’s electric cooperatives. Sanford won a $5,000 prize for her community service project: Jeopardy at Senior Care Centers.
Sanford was among 74 high school students who participated this summer in the Virtual Youth Experience—a five-day conference sponsored by the state’s co-ops that connects young people with state and federal leaders. She and six other students represented Palmetto Electric at the conference. As part of the Virtual Youth Experience, students were encouraged to create and implement a community service project in their local communities. Five students, including Sanford, completed projects during the summer. The project determined to have the largest community impact won the $5,000 scholarship. Sanford’s project allowed residents at two senior care centers in the Beaufort County area the opportunity to play a Jeopardy-like trivia game. The game encouraged teamwork and memory recollection among the seniors. Additionally, Sanford collected donations for a local non-profit organization—The Deep Well Project—which provides a food pantry, rental assistance and emergency funds to residents in need.
“It was extremely rewarding to see that I was able to have a small but positive impact on my local community during these challenging times,” says Sanford. “With limited entertainment options available to these senior residents, bringing a bit of fun and joy to their day made me feel proud of my efforts.”
Sanford attends Hilton Head Island High School. She is the daughter of James and Charlotte Sanford.
The R.D. Bennett Community Service Scholarship is named for Robert D. Bennett, the first general manager and executive vice president of The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, who strongly believed that electric cooperatives should support their local communities. His spirit of community service is reflected in this scholarship opportunity.
Women Involved in Rural Electrification (WIRE)
Women Involved in Rural Electrification (WIRE), Palmetto Electric’s community outreach organization, awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Erika Nicole King from Thomas Heyward Academy. King will attend Charleston Southern University.