THREE local students were presented with the first annual Nourdine Jensen Cooperative Youth Scholarship awards at the OPALCO annual meeting on May 14th. The students are: Connar Smith of Friday Harbor High School, Samantha Swanson of Spring Street International School (and Lopez Island) and Susanne Mietzner of Orcas High School. The awards, including a $500 scholarship and a week at the Cooperative Youth Rally Leadership Camp at the College of Idaho, were presented by Nourdine Jensen’s daughter, Jeri Ahrenius.

The OPALCO Board of Directors established a scholarship program in honor of Nourdine Jensen, a longtime board member and advocate for the Cooperative. Nourdine Jensen believed in reliable, affordable electricity for the rural islanders of San Juan County and he believed in the cooperative model. In that spirit, the Nourdine Jensen Cooperative Youth Program was established to educate our youth about electric co-ops and public power, give them the opportunity to expand their horizons and to develop leadership qualities.

OPALCO is a member-owned cooperative electrical utility serving more than 11,000 members on 20 islands in San Juan County. OPALCO provides electricity that is 95% greenhouse-gas free and is predominately generated by hydro-electric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937 to bring electricity to rural islanders.