Pearl River Valley Electric and PineBelt Foundation representatives came to the Poplarville Campus of Pearl River Community College on Wednesday for a check presentation and reception. Eighty-eight PRCC students have been awarded $500 Round Up Scholarships for the 2021–2022 school year.
“When we heard about this program starting, we knew it would have a major impact,” said Dr. Adam Breerwood, president of Pearl River Community College. “Over 800 of our students have benefited from this program for a total of approximately $650,000 of scholarships in eight years.
“For some of these students, this scholarship made all the difference and has propelled them into life changing opportunities.”
The Round Up program relies upon the generosity of the Pearl River Valley Electric members. They can elect to round up their monthly bill to the next whole dollar with the difference put into the program fund.
Pearl River Valley Electric CEO/General Manager Matthew Ware said, “We asked our members to participate and have had most of our members join.
“Those pennies each month add up and have allowed us to help over 1,800 students since we began. We're working toward an endowment fund that allows us to do this for many years to come.”
Since the Round Up program began in November 2012, more than $1.6 million has been collected and deposited in an account overseen by the PineBelt Foundation. Ten percent of each year’s funds are set aside in an endowed fund for future use. The remaining money is divided equally between the number of eligible applicants.
“The PineBelt Foundation exists to serve as a clearinghouse for good charitable ideas like the Round Up Scholarship program,” said Michael Dixon, executive director of the PineBelt Foundation. “We manage the bookkeeping and logistics of getting the funds from the program to eligible students. PRCC is the school with the most recipients.”
Freshman Omarion Husband, from Foxworth and a graduate of West Marion High School, is one of this year’s scholarship recipients. He is in the Welding and Cutting Technologies program is looking forward to the opportunities his education will open.
“It really means a lot to my family that I got chosen,” said Husband. “Coming to PRCC was the easy decision. This scholarship is helping to make it possible.”
Back row (left to right): Omarion Husband (Foxworth), PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood, Pearl River Valley Electric CEO/General Manager Matthew Ware, PineBelt Foundation Executive Director Michael Dixon, and Braydon Sistrunk (Columbia)
Front row (left to right): Zaria Russell (Columbia), Carleigh Rawson (Lumberton), Destiny Green (Lumberton), Anna Reese Arroyo (Hattiesburg), Jaden Bolling (Hattiesburg), and Nicholas Sims (Bassfield)