The Lanier Technical College Foundation recently received a $5,000 donation from Sawnee EMC.
The gift came from Sawnee’s unclaimed patronage capital funds and is being used to help high school students from Forsyth and Dawson counties take classes at the college through its dual enrollment program.
Dual enrollment is the process through which students take courses offered at a technical college while still enrolled in high school. They receive credit from both their high schools and Lanier Tech.
Nearly 40 high school students from the two counties were recipients of the Sawnee EMC fund, which covered costs to take dual enrollment classes that are not covered by the HOPE Scholarship.
The money allowed them to take classes in the current spring semester, which began Jan. 7.
Blake House, vice president of member services at Sawnee EMC, said in a statement that the cooperative was “proud to be able to provide assistance.”
“These well-deserving students might otherwise not have been able to afford the program,” he said. “We have a long history of supporting our local education systems, and we hope to continue that practice for many years to come.”
According to information from Lanier Tech, there are more than 200 high school students taking dual enrollment courses at the college’s five campuses in Forsyth, Dawson, Jackson, Barrow and Hall counties.
Each year, Sawnee EMC members receive an assignment of “patronage capital” in the records of the cooperative based on the amount of capital they provided through their electric bills for that year.
The assignment of the funds is required by state law.
Sawnee then retires this capital back to the members when the board of directors determines that doing so will not impair the cooperative’s overall financial position.