Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TEC) recently awarded $18,200 in scholarships to 47 local high school students. Since 1991, the cooperative has given $229,387 to area high school graduates.

Kingsland High School recipients were Kaitlin Apenhorst, daughter of Karen Apenhorst and Daniel Apenhorst; Gabriel Drees, son of Ralph and Kersten Drees; Justin Kraling, son of Randy and Yvonne Kraling; and Nicole Shorter, daughter of Todd Shorter and Vicky Shorter.

LeRoy-Ostrander High School recipients were Amber Hockens, daughter of Dan and Kristy Hockens; and Taylor Norby, daughter of Mike and Kirstin Norby.

The money for the scholarships is funded through unclaimed capital credits. The cooperative is a non-profit organization where margins remaining after the cost of providing electric service are returned to members as capital credits. TEC attempts to contact owners of the capital credits for seven years before the capital credits are considered unclaimed.

Scholarship recipients are chosen by their high school to receive TEC's scholarships. TEC issues the unclaimed capital credits to 17 school districts within its service territory. The amount of unclaimed capital credits issued to each school is determined by the number of TEC members residing in the school's district.

TEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving three counties in Minnesota including Winona, Houston and Fillmore and parts of Olmsted and Mower counties in Minnesota and Howard, Winneshiek and Allamakee counties in Iowa. It provides electricity to more than 12,800 services in the area. TEC is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.