West High’s Garcia honored

Melanie Garcia won $2,500 as the first-place winner among local high school students in an essay contest sponsored in part by AEC. She toured the nation’s capital as a participant in the 2019 Washington Youth Tour, and her winning essay also garnered third place in a statewide competition—netting her an additional $1K scholarship.

Morristown West High School rising senior Melanie Garcia has been awarded a total of $3,500 in scholarships from Appalachian Energy Co-op and the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

Garcia wrote a short story that won on two different levels. Locally, she was awarded $2,500 from AEC for winning the co-op’s essay contest for area high school juniors. She also came in third place for an additional $1,000 from TECA in a statewide competition among Tennessee high school students, with more than 10,000 papers submitted for consideration.

“AEC is so pleased to congratulate Melanie on this outstanding achievement,” said Co-Op Energy Advisor LeAnn Sutton. “We have been sponsoring student participants in the essay contest and on the (Washington Youth Tour) for the past 53 years, and this is the first time an individual from one of our local high schools has won at this level.”

Garcia received the Robert McCarty Memorial Scholarship from TECA on a recent week-long expense-paid trip to the nation’s capital, as part of the Youth Tour. This annual event provides young leaders with an opportunity to explore the nation’s capital, learn about government and our system of democracy, gain an appreciation for the contributions of electric cooperatives to rural communities and develop leadership skills.

“We are proud to help prepare East Tennessee’s next generation of leaders,” Sutton said. “The Washington Youth Tour is a great opportunity for students to learn about public policy, cooperatives and the leadership roles they can play in their communities.”