Carson Milburn, Vennessa Reza, Paige Claassen and Meleny Jacome were selected to represent Pioneer Electric on this year’s Youth Tours. The students will be joining other representatives from across the state and country on two all-expense-paid trips in June and July.
Milburn and Reza will represent Pioneer at the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., June 8-15. During their stay, they will tour the Smithsonian Museums, have breakfast with legislators on Capitol Hill, take a night tour of the memorials, and take a dance cruise on the Potomac River.
Claassen and Jacome will travel to the Rocky Mountains on the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp from July 14-20. Set in beautiful Steamboat Springs, CO, the camp allows students from Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Wyoming to grow and develop their leadership skills together in a fun and active setting. Our representatives will enjoy white water rafting on the Colorado River, touring the Trapper Coal Mine and Craig Generation Plant, visiting Mt. Werner, and participating in a variety of camp activities.
“Congratulations to each of our winners,” said Drew Waechter, Pioneer’s Youth Tour Coordinator. “I’m proud of all four students and I know that they will be wonderful representatives of the Cooperative.”
Both tours are sponsored by Pioneer Electric Cooperative and Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., of Topeka.
Pioneer Electric is proud to award 17 high school students from our service area with college scholarships. The students were selected by a three-person panel for their outstanding scholastic achievement, community and school involvement, personal resume, and interview skills.
Pioneer Electric would like to recognize the following students as our 2017 scholarship winners:
Kenzie Jones (Elkhart High School)
Carlee Gum (Stanton County High School)
Perla Moncayo (Ulysses High School)
Emily Westeman (Syracuse High School)
Mica Ratzlaff (Elkhart High School)
Emily Wesley (Elkhart High School)
Trinity Hemphill (Syracuse High School)
Raul Leyva (Syracuse High School)
Emily Curl (Ulysses High School)
Zack Leininger (Hugoton High School)
Braden Higgs (Ulysses High School)
Sofia Salinas (Ulysses High School)
Ty Dixon (Rolla High School)
Heather Julian (Stanton County High School)
Ashley Devore (Ulysses High School)
Maggie White (Moscow High School)
Jose Mendoza (Stanton County High School)
“Part of Pioneer Electric’s dedication to their communities is making an investment in the youth,” said Steve Epperson, CEO. “With these scholarships, we hope to lessen some of the burden on students looking to further their education and, in turn, help our communities. Helping our young leaders today receive the tools they will need for tomorrow is imperative.”
Home is important to all of us. It is the promise of safety, security and the feeling of being loved. For some, this dream of home is just out of reach. That’s why Pioneer Electric Cooperative’s H.U.G.S. team was inspired to present the Peace House Ministries of Hugoton with $3,200 to assist in helping provide a sense of “home” to those in our community.
Peace House Ministries has been actively assisting women in southwest Kansas for 15 years. The organization was established by Patty and Alan Bultman, who were called to help those close to home.
“You’d be amazed on what people in our own hometowns are going through.” said Peace House Ministries President, Patty Bultman. “Often we think that problems like homelessness, abuse or drug addiction aren’t in our small towns, but that’s not true. These issues are prevalent everywhere, that’s why we want to help.”
“There Will Be A Peace House”
Patty and Alan have both always felt a strong urge to help those in the community. Before establishing Peace House, the two were helping women find safe housing, to get a fresh start. Word of their kindness quickly was passed through the community and with it the impact of their kindness.
“I’ve had a troubled past and I didn’t want to see these girls go through the same experiences as I did,” said Patty. “While praying , I kept hearing a voice say ‘there will be a Peace House’. At the time, I had no clue what that meant. I’m still unsure what the grand plan is for Peace House, but we (Her and husband Alan) are eager to serve, however we are called to.”
In 2013, the ministry was gifted a home, becoming the Peace House, which acts as the heart for their operation.
“We were blessed with this great gift,” said Patty. “We use the house for meetings, retreats and a hub for our actions. Every night, we have something going on. It can get hectic but we wouldn’t have it any other way!” Peace House Ministries has grown to provide one-on-one counseling, meals, group counseling, retreats and recovery classes to women in need.
Together, the Bultmans have helped over 200 women with these services, but their reach doesn’t end there. Peace House Ministries have also made an impact in the lives of local youth. The Bultmans hold a youth group for 12 young ladies. These “Pearl Girls” assist at the Peace House, work on projects and discuss any struggles that they may be facing.
“The Pearl Girls do a lot for the Peace House,” said Patty. “It’s awesome to see these young ladies come together and make a difference in each other’s lives.”
A Place For Peace, Safety and Fun
As the Bultmans touched the lives of many through Peace House, they started to notice a new group seeking the comfort of “home”.
“I came home from work one day and saw two children sitting on our step,” said Alan. “I asked the kids if they knew where their parents were and they didn’t know. To see these two kids just sitting there, it crushed me. I thought to myself, there should be a place that these kids could go, have fun and not worry about struggles they may face.”
Once again, the Bultmans felt the call, and began in planning for a new space just for troubled youth. Soon after, they were gifted with 30 acres of land to create a farm for all to enjoy.
“We wanted to create a space where these children can feel safe,” said Patty. “Our hope is that the farm becomes a place where they can grow plants, ride a horse, build a fence, shoot a bow, care for animals, take time to be still and look at nature and to accept the love of someone who will not hurt them or abandon them.”
Recently, the Bultmans finished their first major project on the farm. They constructed a metal building to house restrooms and a kitchen. This has allowed them to look out towards the future.
“We like to come out and take the kids on hikes through the surrounding pastures, go for buggy rides, feed the horses and just enjoy nature,” said Patty. “But, we hope that by adding more to the farm we can start doing more with the kids. Eventually, we’d like to have and orchard, have some outdoor activities and a 1,000 foot zip line.”
The story of the farm was then brought to the attention of Pioneer Electric’s H.U.G.S. team and they agreed to support the farm.
“We are honored to be a part of this project,” said H.U.G.S. Member and Pioneer Electric Vice President of Energy Services, Anita Wendt. “The H.U.G.S team was created to give help with completion of projects designed to better our communities. We feel that the Bultmans have given so much by opening their hearts to those seeking help and we are proud to be able to help them with this project.”
Patty and Alan have accomplished much, but will humbly say that none of their service would have been possible without the support of their community.
“Our community has given us so much,” said Patty. “We did not do this alone, many volunteers have helped us accomplish so much. This isn’t just a space for troubled individuals this is a space for all.”