MEC awards scholarships to students across southwest Michigan

CASSOPOLIS — Midwest Energy and Communications recently recognized the academic achievements, leadership and community involvement of four local students with its annual college scholarship program. All four are sons or daughters of MEC customers.

“Investing in our youth is one great way to achieve our vision of vibrant, relevant and sustainable rural communities. Our scholarship program recognizes today’s student and tomorrow’s community leaders,” said Patty Nowlin, vice president of corporate communications and community relations.

Scholarships were recently awarded to the following students:

Kylee Cromer is the daughter of Kelly and Kelly Cromer and a graduate of Dowagiac Union High School, where she earned the Academic Award of Excellence for four years. During her high school career, she was actively involved in 4-H, the Dowagiac Equestrian Team, Dowagiac Rotary Interact Club, National Honor Society, and also volunteered with the Dowagiac Conservation Club. Cromer will attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College this fall to study interior design.

Dustin Noble is the son of Doug and Peggy Noble and a graduate of Lawton High School, where he was active with various athletic programs. Noble participated in football, basketball, track, and baseball, and was named to the 2020 Football Academic All-State Team and the Kalamazoo Dream Team. He earned High and Exemplary Honors for four years while also participating with the National Honor Society and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Noble plans to pursue a degree in business from Kalamazoo College.

Austin Outlaw is the son of Jennifer and Roger Outlaw II and a graduate of Constantine High School, where he participated with the National Honor Society, Student Senate, track and field, and cross country. He also attended Glen Oaks Community College and was recognized with top academic honors and elected to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Outlaw is working towards a personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and plans to integrate that into his neuroscience and pre-medicine studies at Michigan State University.

Kerith Spake is the daughter of Melissa and Darren Bettinger and a graduate of Edwardsburg High School. The 2019 Miss Cassopolis was active with the National Honor Society, Mechanicsburg 4-H and the Edwardsburg Troop 593 Venture Crew. She also was involved as a varsity and competitive cheerleader, earning honors as the 2018 MVP, 2018 Academic All State, 2018 Varsity All-American Cheerleader, and 2018 and 2019 Scholar Athlete. Spake will attend the University of Toledo to study medical technology and pre-medicine.