Every year, HEA’s Scholarship Committee awards a number of academic or vocational scholarships for an amount to be determined by the Board of Directors each calendar year. This year, HEA is excited to announce its NEW scholarship programs named after former employees and influential community members and extends the deadline to apply to April 3, 2023.

To celebrate our distinguished pioneers, each year HEA will award scholarships to students, in each of its districts, named after influential employees and a community member that have impacted the cooperative or the Kenai Peninsula in a meaningful way. HEA’s 2023 scholarships honor Sandra Ghormley, the Hatfield Men and James “Hobo Jim” Varsos.

HEA is proud to support our communities by investing in tomorrow’s leaders through its scholarship program. The HEA Board of Directors recently expanded HEA’s scholarship policy to provide opportunities to include a more diverse student population. Under HEA’s updated scholarship policy, HEA will fund trade or apprenticeship scholarships in addition to continuing to award traditional academic scholarships, and scholarships for adults wishing to continue their education. Winners will be selected based on the merits of the applicant and a demonstration that the applicant is committed to their school and community.

The Sandra Ghormley Academic Excellence Scholarship is available for students that excel academically and shine a light in their community. The Sandra Ghormley Academic Excellence Scholarship honors the life and legacy of Sandra Ghormley, who worked for HEA for 18 years as the Manager of Member Services. Sandra embodied the cooperative spirit through her dedication to the membership with a smile, her forward thinking and innovative mentality, and her larger-than-life personality. She was passionate about mentoring and was an inspiration to all.

The Hatfield Memorial Scholarship for the Trades is available for students pursuing a trade, vocation or apprenticeship program. The 2023 Hatfield Trade Scholarship, named in honor of three HEA linemen, Fred Hatfield and his sons, Frank Hatfield and John Hatfield. Together the Hatfield men served as linemen at HEA for a combined 23 years. The Hatfield linemen took calls at all hours of the day and night, rushing out in the rain, snow, sleet and sunshine to make sure the lights stayed on for their community. It has been said that linemen show up anywhere, anytime, in any storm and the Hatfield men exemplified this proud legacy as linemen at HEA.

The Hobo Jim Returning Student Scholarship honors a community member that has had a meaningful and lasting impact on the Kenai Peninsula. This year’s Returning Student Scholarship honors James Varsos, known by the stage name Hobo Jim. Hobo Jim was an Alaskan folk singer-songwriter. He was one of the most popular guitar players in Alaska, playing frequently at small venues across the Kenai Peninsula (and Alaska) weekly until he passed. Hobo Jim’s music captured the essence of the Alaskan pioneering spirit that has come to define the Kenai Peninsula. Hobo Jim’s song “I am Alaska” has been licensed for use by HEA and we are proud to honor his community and pioneering legacy by naming the 2023 Returning Student Scholarship after Hobo Jim.

The scholarships are available for students of all ages – both graduating seniors and adults wishing to continue their education. To qualify, students (or their parent or guardian) must be a member of HEA. Dependents of members must be eligible for the Permanent Fund Dividend. Scholarships are funded through the interest earned on unclaimed capital credits and they do not affect electric rates. EXTENDED Application deadline is April 3, 2023.

2022 Scholarship Recipients:

High School Senior Category

Melita Efta |  Kenai Central High School
Kaitlynn Gist |  Kenai Central High School
Selena Payment | River City Academy
Nathanael Johnson | Soldotna High School
Gabrielle Lane | Soldotna High School
Jordan Strausbaugh | Soldotna High School
Carson Dement | Soldotna High School
Olivia Glasman | Homer High School
Delilah Harris | Homer High School

Returning Student Category

Robert Walsh | District 3