Each year, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives award scholarships to local middle school students to attend the Wolfpack Women’s Basketball Camp at North Carolina State University. The Touchstone Energy Sports Camp Scholarships are given to 26 exceptional young women in North Carolina’s rural electric cooperative communities. On Sunday, Dec. 11, the 2022 scholarships winners were invited back to N.C. State’s campus for a reunion event to celebrate their accomplishments and watch the Wolfpack women’s basketball team take on the University of South Florida Bulls.
In between the first and second quarter of the game, the scholarship winners were honored on the court for their achievements and participation at last summer’s basketball camp in front of a cheering crowd at Reynolds Coliseum on the campus of N.C. State. Joining the campers on the court were Tonya Howard and Chris Nault from North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives who presented a check for $17,000 to the N.C. State Women’s Basketball program for the scholarships. N.C. State athletics invited all campers and their families to attend the game, however only the scholarship winners from North Carolina’s electric cooperatives were honored on the court and provided free tickets to attend the game.
“This scholarship winner reunion event is such a great way to celebrate the achievements of these incredible young women and is an unforgettable experience for the campers and their families,” said Tonya Howard, administrative assistant, strategic communications and marketing at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “Co-ops across North Carolina are rooted in the communities they serve and continue to generously give back to their members through initiatives like this one.”
Now in its 20th year, the Touchstone Energy Sports Camp Scholarships are just one way that North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are investing in the next generation of leaders by supporting youth initiatives. In addition to the 26 scholarships awarded to young women each year to attend the Wolfpack Women’s Basketball Camp, 26 young men are also chosen to participate in the Carolina Basketball School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill each summer.
The scholarships, sponsored by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, cover all expenses at the overnight camps, which provide a glimpse into life on a college campus. Campers stay overnight in dorms, learn fundamental skills that will help them excel on and off the court and receive individual and group instruction from Division 1 coaches to enhance their basketball, team-building and leadership abilities.
Applications for the scholarship program open Jan. 1, with a final deadline of March 31. Applicants will be judged by a panel from their local electric cooperative on a variety of criteria including, but not limited to, academics, extracurricular activities and an essay.