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Ethan Boekelheide of Northville and Abbilyn Kaan of Aberdeen have been selected as the 2023 recipients of scholarships from Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Northern Electric Cooperative. Boekelheide has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Basin Electric and Kaan is the recipient of the $500 scholarship from Northern Electric. Both Boekelheide and Kaan are seniors in high school and will be enrolling in universities this fall.

Ethan Boekelheide
Ethan Boekelheide

Boekelheide has a 4.0 grade point average at Northwestern Area High School and has been on the straight-A honor roll for every semester of high school. He is involved in pep band, marching band, and jazz band. He was a member of the 2021-2022 South Dakota State University Honor Band and has been an all-state band, jazz band, and orchestra participant. Boekelheide was the captain of the cross-country team this year and is a state qualifier in track. Boekelheide is also involved in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), was elected as the Public Utilities Commissioner at the 2022 Boys State event and has been a member of the Northwestern Science Bowl team during his four years of high school.

“This scholarship will help me fund my education, and it will increase my financial stability after college graduation,” Boekelheide said.

Boekelheide plans to attend South Dakota State University in the fall where he will pursue a degree in agricultural business with a minor in commodity risk management to prepare for a career on his family’s farm.

Abbilyn Kaan is a senior at Aberdeen Central High School where she has a 4.08 GPA and has been on the honor roll for every semester of high school. She is also involved in jazz band, symphonic band, marching band, show choir and a capella choir. Kaan has been inducted into the National Honor Society and has volunteered with the Salvation Army in Aberdeen.

Abbilyn Kaan
Abbilyn Kaan

Kaan plans to enroll at the University of North Dakota in the fall and pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences. She would like to work for the National Weather Service.

“This scholarship will help me accomplish my goals by relieving some of my financial burdens. This will help me pay for credits that overall go to my degree which will help me get a great job,” Kaan said about being selected as the Northern Electric scholarship recipient.

All scholarship applicants had to submit an essay about the challenges they believe rural electric cooperatives will face in the future. Both Boekelheide and Kaan wrote about renewable energy and the need for co-ops to diversify sources of electric generation.

“Special attention should be given to maintaining the balance between power sources to ensure affordable and accessible power for cooperative members while conserving our nonrenewable resources,” Boekelheide wrote in his essay.

Kaan recognizes that electric co-ops already use wind and hydropower as sources of renewable electric generation but she believes consumers can also do their part to conserve energy.

“Consuming less electricity when not needed, decreases the amount of energy needed, and therefore decreases the number of resources needed to power that device,’” Kaan wrote.

Boekelheide and Kaan will receive their scholarships when they enroll in classes in the fall. The applications were judged by a panel of Northern Electric employees.