Four Scholarships go to Local Graduates

Students in Benson, Sierra Vista, St. David and Willcox Receive Awards


For Immediate Release

July 6, 2020


Geoff Oldfather, (520) 586-5465, C: (520) 444-3473,

J.D. Wallace, (520) 586-5157, C: (520) 235-4203,


BENSON – Arizona G&T Cooperatives (AzGT) awarded scholarships to four college-bound seniors in June. Scholarships of $2,000 each went to:

  • Rebekah Claus-Walker, Valley Union High School
  • Dabnee Martin, St. David High School
  • Daniella Pando, Willcox High School and
  • Vanesa Romero, Benson High School.

From staying home in their last months of high school to watching virtual award presentations that replaced the usual ceremonies, the students endured many changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This scholarship lessened some of the stress that my family and I were facing and has truly been beyond helpful,” said Romero. “I am so grateful for the aid!” Romero plans to attend the University of Arizona Honors College this fall with the goal of becoming a surgeon.

Students were judged based on their applications and their school and community participation. “It’s always wonderful to see what kind of kids are here in our rural communities and how dedicated they are to achieving success,” said Shannon Garner, one of seven members of an AzGT employee committee that judged applicants.

Pando also intends to study medicine at the University of Arizona Honors College. “Being a first-generation student is intimidating because of all the unknowns,” she said. “This scholarship relieves a great deal of that stress off my shoulders.” She hopes to become a pediatrician.

“I know that AzGT cares about its community and the education of up-and-coming generations of high-school students,” said Martin, who plans to study hospitality and tourism at Northern Arizona University.

Claus-Walker plans to study agricultural accounting, attending Cochise College first and then transferring to the University of Arizona. Each recipient will receive $1000 for the fall semester and another $1000 for the spring.

About Arizona G&T Cooperatives

Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) and Sierra Southwest Cooperative Services (Sierra) together comprise the Arizona G&T Cooperatives ( AEPCO owns and operates the 605-megawatt (combined gross) Apache Generating Station, located at Cochise, east of Benson. AEPCO also owns, operates and maintains 841 miles of electric power transmission line—including line owned in part with other utilities— and 33 substations to provide wholesale electric power from Apache to six member distribution cooperatives in southern Arizona, western New Mexico, northwestern Arizona and California. The system includes more than 30 telecommunications towers used for phone and data relay services by AEPCO’s Member cooperatives and customers. From this network, our Member distribution electric cooperatives take the power and distribute it to their member-consumers at the end of the line.

Sierra is the vehicle to develop new ways to serve the renewable energy needs of our Member cooperatives and customers, and helps maximize solar and other renewable tax credits that are available. Sierra has initiated two utility scale solar projects; the 20 MW Apache Solar project on AEPCO property adjacent to and northeast of AGS, and SunAnza, the 2 MW solar array adjacent to the Anza EC headquarters in Anza, California.

Combined, the distribution cooperatives that receive AEPCO’s wholesale power serve more than 161,000 meters representing more than 420,000 individual residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial member/consumers.

The Class A member cooperatives that receive wholesale power from AEPCO include Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative, Duncan; Graham County Electric Cooperative, Pima; Mohave Electric Cooperative, Bullhead City; Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Willcox; Trico Electric Cooperative, Marana; and our California member, Anza Electric Cooperative, Anza, California.

These member cooperatives own the AzGT and, by extension, the G&T Cooperatives are owned by their members—the people at the end of the line who use the power.