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PEC awards $100K in scholarships

By Megan Wehring

 HAYS COUNTY – The Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) awarded $100,000 total in scholarships to 39 students – nine of which are in Hays County. Additionally, two PEC members in Hays County seeking to advance their education as adults also received $2,500 awards.

“It’s an incredibly rewarding feeling to be able to contribute to our communities through our scholarship program,” said Celeste Mikeska, PEC community outreach specialist. “We’re proud to be part of such an impactful cause, one that has the potential to positively shape generations of families and communities in the area.”

Students may use their PEC scholarship funds to pay for expenses at any accredited university, college, junior college, technical school or trade school.

Applicants submitted essays describing what personal characteristics they believe will make them successful in college. A panel of independent judges evaluated more than 430 applicants based on their academic performance, leadership, and financial need. Since beginning the program 22 years ago, PEC has provided more than $1.3 million in scholarships to area students.

The Hays County recipients are Harrison Mayhew (Wimberley High School); Catarina Vazquez (San Marcos Academy); Dominic Gearing (Dripping Springs High School); Weston Kirk (Dripping Springs High School); Arysta Visser (Dripping Springs High School); Soleil Johnson (Jack C. Hays High School); Adrian Campa (Jack C. Hays High School); Natalie Vargas (Jack C. Hays High School); Audrey Balsdon (Dripping Springs High School); Matthew Bridges (Buda adult); and Toby Porter (Kyle adult).

PEC’s history of supporting local students through scholarships spans more than two decades and highlights a commitment to the communities the cooperative serves. To learn more about PEC’s scholarship program, visit 

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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