California, July 10, 2023 – SMECO, the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, has announced the recipients of its annual scholarship program for 2023. Four outstanding high school seniors from the cooperative’s service area have been selected for their exceptional academic achievements, financial need, and active involvement in their schools and communities. The scholarship recipients, Zoe McCall, Lauren McNair, Ivy Phillips, and William Spruill, will each receive a $2,500 college scholarship to support their higher education endeavors.

Since its inception in 1993, SMECO has awarded scholarships to 124 students over 31 years, demonstrating its commitment to empowering local youth and investing in their future.

Zoe McCall, a graduate of the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College, plans to pursue a degree in biology and psychology at Xavier University of Louisiana. McCall has actively engaged in various leadership roles throughout high school. She served as a student member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education’s Advisory Council for four years and held the position of Chief of Staff for two years. Additionally, she was a member of the county’s Regional Association of Student Governments and played a pivotal role in organizing the countywide Student Mental Health Forum for three years. McCall’s dedication to her community and academic excellence earned her induction into the National Honor Society.

Lauren McNair, a graduate of St. Mary’s Ryken High School in St. Mary’s County, aspires to become a cardiothoracic surgeon and will pursue her education at Howard University in Washington, D.C. McNair’s remarkable achievements include being on the President’s List throughout her high school years and induction into the National Honor Society and Science National Honor Society. She served as the vice president of the Black Student Union at St. Mary’s Ryken and initiated the Tots-to-Teens Expo. This nonprofit organization provides educational and health resources to children in underserved communities. McNair’s compassion for others was further demonstrated through her efforts to support the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home residents.

Ivy Phillips, a La Plata High School graduate in Charles County, will be studying business analytics at the University of Maryland College Park. Phillips exhibited exceptional leadership skills as a captain of La Plata’s varsity cross-country team and actively contributed to her community through her involvement in 4-H and various clubs. She achieved remarkable success in gardening, food preservation, sewing, and flowers, earning the title Grand Champion at the Charles County Fair. Phillips also dedicated her time to community projects at St. Ignatius-Chapel Point Church, where she is a choir member.

William Spruill, an Oxon Hill High School graduate in Prince George’s County, plans to pursue an electrical engineering degree at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Spruill’s accomplishments include receiving the National Hispanic Recognition, being recognized as an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, and achieving the principal’s honor roll. He excelled in swimming and lacrosse, serving as the captain for Oxon Hill’s varsity teams and contributing to their success in winning county championships. Spruill’s passion for renewable energy was evident in his research project, which focused on sun-tracking technology for solar panels. He also demonstrated leadership and dedication through involvement in the Boy Scouts of America.

SMECO’s scholarship program aims to recognize and support local students’ academic and extracurricular achievements while alleviating the financial burden of pursuing higher education. The cooperative’s commitment to empowering the youth of their service area continues to positively impact the lives of students like Zoe McCall, Lauren McNair, Ivy Phillips, and William Spruill.

Please visit their website for more information about SMECO’s scholarship program and its recipients.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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