WCEC Awards $6,000 to Non-Traditional Adult Learners

Wood County Electric Cooperative (WCEC) is pleased to announce the 3 scholarship winners in the Power Upward Scholarship contest. This program is for non-traditional adult learners pursuing post-secondary education. Each winner applied with an essay describing their decision to continue their field of study and future goals. The winners, selected by an independent judge, are: Kristi Beech, Quitman; Amy Jeffreys, Hawkins; and Jessica Smith, Quitman.

Beech, an administrative assistant at Yantis ISD, is the mother of two. She also coaches the cross-country teams at both the Yantis High and Jr. High Schools. She enjoys competing in distance running and cycling events.  She is currently enrolled at Texas A&M University in Commerce, where she is pursing her Bachelors of Applied Arts and Science in Organizational Leadership. Upon completion, she’ll pursue her teaching certificate and then she plans to teach or work in a business setting.

Jeffreys, a photographer and graphic designer, also works as a chemistry research assistant at UT Tyler, where she is pursuing a dual-degree, a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science (Psychology emphasis). When not working and attending class, she enjoys reading, camping and developing a self-sustaining homestead. During her studies, Jeffreys was recently awarded the 2017 Undergraduate award in Analytical Chemistry for the American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry. Upon completion of her Bachelors she has plans to pursue her PhD in Chemistry.

Smith is a health and wellness business owner and the mother of three. She is a personal trainer, running coach, and certified nutritionist. She also serves on the Quitman ISD’s Health Advisory Board, and in her spare time she enjoys training for marathons. She is attending North East Texas Community College with the goal of earning an Associates degree in Human Performance, which dovetails with her current business. After graduation she plans to use her degree to offer services in corporate wellness and fitness programs for elementary aged children.

Of the winners, WCEC CEO/General Manager Debbie Robinson said, “All of these adult students are already highly contributing members of the communities they live and work in. They are an inspiration to others. It will be extremely rewarding to see them achieve their goals, and then watch as they put their education to use in even greater ways.”