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One of the highlights of the annual GGA summer barbecue is the announcement of the GGA Scholarship winner. This year Ukiah High School graduate Megan Smith joined us at the Calpine Visitor Center where President Ron Suess presented her with a $3,000 award. Megan's mom was present along with her proud uncle, Ryan Varnum. To be eligible for GGA scholarships, applicants must have a relative who has worked at The Geysers, and Megan's uncle met the criteria by way of 31 years of employment there, starting as a driller and more recently as the steam field senior control operator.

Megan's goal is to graduate from UC Davis and become a veterinary technician, but first she will obtain her AA degree from Butte Community and Santa Rosa Junior Colleges. She wrote, “By the time I turned 15 I knew I wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.”

Megan developed a love of animals early in life, and in 2012 she broadened her knowledge of animals to include horses. After learning to ride she joined the North American Trail Ride Conference, an experience which prompted her to add equine medicine to her career goals.

A high point of Megan's volunteer work at the animal shelter included a two-pronged mentoring program which brought together troubled youths in need of help and shelter dogs who needed obedience training. Megan wrote, “I've experienced first-hand how useful a dog can be in the life of a troubled youth, and I know that, with the help of schools and shelters, this type of training/therapy can lead to a greater turnout of rehabilitated adolescents and adopted dogs.”

In addition to making the world a better place for animals and humans, Megan wrote a few words about the future of our planet. “The world is an incredible place. We are constantly surrounded by ever-advancing technology. We are able to create almost anything imaginable practically instantaneously. So why is it that we are relatively unaware of the fact that we're rapidly deteriorating the stability of the planet we call home?”

Megan has given a lot of thought to renewable energy, including in her writing that “…rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency is resulting in significant energy security, climate change mitigation and economic benefits”. She also noted that international public opinion surveys indicate strong support for promoting renewable sources such as solar and wind power.

by Marilyn Sanborn

About the GGA Scholarship:

The Geysers Geothermal Association (GGA), a non‐profit trade association which is comprised of the various companies that constitute the geothermal industry in Lake, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, is pleased to announce the availability of the Fred Haley Memorial Scholarship.

There will be one (1) scholarship awarded to a high school senior who has relatives that are directly involved and spend a majority of their working time in Geysers Geothermal field. The scholarship will be for $3,000. The scholarship program is one of the ways the GGA endeavors to be of service to the geothermal community.

Selection of recipients will be based upon the student's academic record, student activities, citizenship and an evaluation of the renewable energy related essay question. Please note that there is no formal application
form for applying for this scholarship. The application must include:

1. Current transcript through seven semesters of high school.
2. List of student activities including offices held.
3. List and brief description of all extracurricular and/or community activities.
4. Statement of verification by the applicant's school counselor.
5. One‐page statement (essay) by the applicant about their future goals.
6. Brief statement by the applicant’s relative describing their work relationship to The Geysers
Geothermal Field.
7. One‐page essay answering the following question. “If you could change your community or society in
a positive way, what changes would you make and why?”

Questions about the GGA Scholarship should be addressed to:

Louis Capuano III
GGA Scholarship Committee
2455 Bennett Valley Rd. Suite A112
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

In the 28 years since our scholarship program was established, sixty-six Sonoma and Lake County high school seniors have received a total of $52,000 in scholarships from the Geysers Geothermal Association! Our scholarship program is one of the ways the GGA endeavors to be of service to the geothermal community.

Geysers Geothermal Association Website (Updated octoberr 06, 2014)
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