Our company provides scholarships to students as a way to strengthen education and promote careers in science, technology and energy fields.
UniSource Energy Services funds college scholarships, supports groups that help students in rural communities pay private school tuition and participates in an industry group that supports students studying for electric energy careers.
“We’re delighted that we can support students in their pursuit of higher education and rewarding careers,” said Roberto Guevara, Director of Gas, Electric and Operational Excellence.
UniSource contributes a total of $9,000 in scholarships each year to graduating seniors from Rio Rico, Nogales and Pierson Vocational High Schools. Each Santa Cruz County campus receives $3,000, sometimes split between two students.
German Rodarte, a 2021 recipient who graduated in May from Rio Rico High School, is pursuing an electrical engineering degree at Arizona State University.
After college, Rodarte hopes to work at a large company, then start his own company after about 20 years.
“I am committed to working hard in the following years and will be looking for opportunities that could help me make my goals a reality. I look forward to one day being at the heart of future innovation,” Rodarte wrote in a letter to UniSource. “By awarding me the Unisource Scholarship, you have reduced some of my financial burden, which will allow me to focus on the most important aspect of school. I thank you for your confidence and willingness to help me achieve my goals.”
The other Rio Rico recipient was Jacqueline Ruiz, who aspires to become a nurse. She is attending Pima Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Arizona.
“I’d like to thank UniSource for your support,” Ruiz said. “This will give me an extra boost in achieving my goal. Even though the pandemic was upon us, you were still there to help us students move on.”
School Tuition Organizations
Through UniSource’s contribution to Arizona school tuition organizations, low-income and disabled students receive scholarships to attend private schools in four counties where UniSource provides service.
By providing $200,000 this year, UniSource is the largest contributor of tuition assistance for rural Arizona schools through the Arizona Leadership Foundation, said Aaron Muth, the foundation’s President of Chief Executive Officer.
“UniSource is truly the only one that steps up for the rural community. It’s nice to have a corporate champion that cares about the entire state” Muth said. “It’s a huge impact that UniSource makes for rural Arizona.”
The foundation allocates $50,000 to each of the four counties, providing the following average number of scholarships:
- Santa Cruz County, nine scholarships
- Yavapai County, 17 scholarships
- Coconino County, 19 scholarships
- Navajo County, 52 scholarships
The individual scholarship amount varies by each applicant’s financial needs with the larger scholarships going to families with lower incomes.
“UniSource makes sure options are affordable to families,” Muth said.
UniSource and sister company Tucson Electric Power sponsor a total of $6,000 in college scholarships through the RMEL Foundation, an electric trade group that supports educational opportunities for students pursuing careers in the energy field. Mark Mansfield, who recently retired as Vice President of Special Projects, serves on the RMEL board, while other employees assist with the selection process.
This year’s recipients of $3,000 scholarships are:
- Braydon Smith, a student at Chandler Gilbert Community College who is interested in the electric industry. He is a member of the Navajo Nation.
- Maria Salzetti, a student at the University of Utah who is pursuing a mechanical engineering degree.
To learn more about the scholarships and apply later this year, visit the RMEL Foundation website.