Local rising seniors whose parents are served by Appalachian Electric are eligible for a $2,500 scholarship. Students can write a 900-word essay and submit by 7/31/21 on the topic “Building a Brighter Tennessee” and send  to to qualify. Winners not only receive a local scholarship, but they also qualify for thousands of dollars in national scholarships. Please see detailed information, rules and regulations below.

This Year’s Topic

The energy provided by electric co-ops has far-reaching impacts on Tennessee. Write a short story explaining how electric co-ops are “Building a Brighter Tennessee” through investments in energy, education, broadband, economic development and more.


Remember, you’re writing a short story, which gives you more creative freedom than the rigid guidelines of an essay. Your story should be an entertaining, informative description of electric cooperatives. Here are a few rules you’ll need to know:

  • Only rising seniors in high school are eligible to participate.

  •  Students must live in a household served by Appalachian Electric Cooperative and/or attend Jefferson County High School, Grainger County High School or Morristown West High School.

  • Every short story must be titled “Building a Brighter Tennessee.”

  • Submissions must not exceed 900 words, including articles (“a,” “an” and “the”). The exact word count must be included on your cover page. Entries must be typewritten and double-spaced.

Judging Criteria

  • 50% – Appropriate treatment of theme and knowledge of subject. To gain full credit in this category, you’ll have to effectively weave the information relating to the theme throughout the short story. Judges will see indications of additional research, a grasp of what information is vital to making your story believable and credible and creative ways of presenting that information.

  • 35% – Originality and Creativity. Use a different, entertaining, effective way of presenting information that will educate a reader and get your points across.

  • 15% – Grammar and Composition. If you need an explanation here, check your English textbook.

Checklist for Success

The tips below can help you get one step closer to winning. Use these suggestions to make your story stand out:

Characters, time and place

Spend some time to develop the characters, location and time frame of your story.

Get specific

Include at least three specific examples of the many ways that co-ops connect their communities. The expansion of broadband, availability of reliable energy, efforts to recruit new businesses and jobs and young leadership development for young people are just a few examples.

Include one (or more) co-op principles

The seven principles of electric co-ops are listed here. Include these in your story to demonstrate your understanding of the many things that make electric co-ops unique. Learn more about these seven principles here:

For more information about this essay, visit:,four%20years%20%2F%20%2416%2C000%20maximum.

Submit your completed essay to Essays over 900 words will not be considered.

Good luck! We can’t wait to review your essay. Winners will be announced September 25th at the Annual Meeting.