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Coal firm offers aid to students




Alpha Natural Resources Inc., parent company of Letcher County-based Enterprise Mining, has announced a new “High School Scholarship Program” that awards 53 college grants annually, ranging from $1,000 to $2,500, to qualified high school seniors.

Alpha, based in Abingdon, Va., said the program is designed to help the families of high school students who want to go to college a time when student loans are difficult to obtain and families are facing economic distress.

Alpha said it is seeking applicants from 90 high schools located in the “geographic footprint” of Alpha and its subsidiaries’ mining operations, which includes eastern Kentucky, western Pennsylvania, southwest Virginia, northeast Tennessee and southern West Virginia. Applications for the scholarships must be filed by March 15.

“Alpha is pleased to offer college scholarship opportunities for high school seniors at a time when many families may be putting their children’s futures on hold due to the current economic downturn,” said Michael Quillen, Alpha’s chairman and CEO. “Certainly, few projects are more important than investment in our youth and giving them greater educational opportunities.”

The “High School Scholarship Program” consists of four types of tuition funding. Students can receive more than one scholarship if they meet the eligibility and performance criteria for more than one of the programs.

The four types of scholarships, which are renewable annually for full-time study at any accredited institution, include:

General Scholarship of $1,000 per year for high school seniors who live within the Alpha geographic footprint;

Sons & Daughters Scholarship of $1,500 per year for children of Alpha employees;

Engineering Scholarship of $2,500 per year for high school seniors in Alpha’s geographic footprint interested in pursuing engineering careers; and

Career & Technical Scholarship of $1,000 per year for high school seniors in the Alpha footprint who plan to pursue a technical career and education.

High school seniors interested in applying for one or more of the scholarships are asked contact their high school’s guidance counselor immediately.

Scholarship recipients will be chosen based on academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, a statement of goals and aspiration, unusual personal or family circumstances, and an outside appraisal. Students receiving awards are expected to maintain a 2.5 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for their scholarships to be renewed.

Alpha’s High School Scholarship Program is part of the company’s NexGen initiative, which is an effort to develop the next generation of leaders. If parents or high school guidance counselors have questions, they should contact Recruitment Coordinator Jessica Stollings at jstollings@alphanr.com.

Alpha Natural Resources is a leading supplier of Appalachian coal to electric utilities, steel producers and heavy industry. The company, which employs 3,600 people, is also the nation’s largest supplier and exporter of metallurgical coal, a key ingredient in steel manufacturing. Alpha and its subsidiaries operate 60 mines and 10 coal preparation and blending plants.


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