Each year, Gascosage Electric Cooperative awards an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to four high school juniors from area schools (Crocker, Dixon, Iberia and Newburg) based on essays written about Rural Electrification. Essays are judged based on knowledge of the subject, originality, composition, neatness and grammar. A panel of judges from Sho-Me Power Cooperative then interviews and determines the finalists. Local contest winners spend five days visiting places of historical interest and meeting members of Congress. Finalists are eligible to compete for a position as the Missouri State Representative in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Leadership Council.
Every year, Gascosage Electric Cooperative awards twenty $1000 scholarships to area seniors whose parents or guardians are members of the Cooperative. The seniors are selected among numerous applicants from local high schools in the area. The applications are rendered anonymous by a numbering system. Nonpartisan judges select the winners who each receive a $1000 scholarship to an accredited college, university, technical school or trade school.
Gascosage Electric Cooperative worked and continues to work with Sho-Me Power Cooperative, our power supplier, to install fiber optics throughout our rural territory. The project was initiated to install SCADA connections to our substations, providing real time monitoring for our distribution system and thereby improving outage response time as well. The improved communication that developed has broadened the opportunities for our consumers to raise their standard of living through connectivity while maintaining the benefits of the rural lifestyle.
Gascosage Electric recognized that the excess capacity existing in the fiber required to transmit data to the Cooperative could provide Distance Learning opportunities to our local schools. Gascosage and Sho-Me Power officials assisted the schools by funding the writing of federal and state grant proposals to assist in financing the project. The Cooperative was instrumental in obtaining additional funding through Missouri state grants, the Educational Rates & Universal Service Fund, and RUS Distance Learning grants and loans. The Cooperative also helped fund the installation and maintenance of the equipment. All of these efforts have brightened the future of local children by raising their standard of education to meet the curriculums of better-funded, urban schools. The Missouri State Department of Education regards this Distance Learning Program as a standard of teaching innovation.
Crews from Gascosage string Christmas lights in time for the holidays for the towns in our service territory. The Cooperative donates the expense of this electricity to the communities. Our consumers enjoy the decorations and comment on how festive and comforting the twinkling lights appear in each town.