Kate Brady, 17, of Williamston, S.C., is the recipient of the 2014 Robert D. Bennett Community Service Scholarship presented by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc., the trade association for South Carolina’s independent, not-for profit electric cooperatives. The $5,000 college scholarship is presented to a student who completes a community service project that best exemplifies the cooperative principle of “concern for community.”
Brady, who is a senior at Wren High School in Piedmont, applied for the scholarship after being chosen by Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative to represent the co-op this summer on the 2014 Washington Youth Tour, a week-long trip to our nation’s capital, where students learn about government and its relationship to the nation’s cooperatives.
Brady’s community service project, “Healing Harmonies,” allowed local students to use their musical talents to help cancer patients. Brady worked with the AnMed Cancer Center in Anderson to provide musical entertainment to patients awaiting treatment. Some students, including Brady, played the piano. Other students brought their own musical instruments and performed at the center throughout the summer.
“Healing Harmonies has been such a blessing to me,” said Brady. “One time (at the cancer center)…I ran into my guidance counselor and her mother—who had just completed her last round of cancer treatment—and I had no idea they were there. Her mom looks at me and says, ‘You just played my favorite hymn.’ That feeling is something that I will never be able to explain—just knowing that God was able to use me and other students to provide a blessing. It’s something that I can’t comprehend and something that I’ll never know how far the effects may go. And that means a lot to me.”
The $5,000 scholarship is named for Robert D. Bennett, the first general manager and executive vice president of The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. Mr. Bennett, who led the state association from 1950 until his retirement in 1980, strongly believed that electric cooperatives should support their local communities, providing a better quality of life for their members. His spirit of community service is reflected in this scholarship opportunity.