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Affordable Connectivity Program

Jaden Lester of Browning, Mo., and Abby Webb of Humphreys, Mo., are each recipients of a $1,000 GRM Networks scholarship. Lester and Webb were selected by a panel of judges to represent GRM Networks on the 2020 Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) Washington D.C. Youth Tour. Due to unforeseen circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Youth Tour was cancelled.

“We certainly understand the reason for the cancellation of this year’s FRS Youth Tour,” said GRM Networks’ CEO Ron Hinds. “We respect and appreciate the decision by FRS to place the health and safety of the youth first. However, we are proud of Jaden and Abby and wish to support their future education. Therefore, the cooperative has awarded each a $1,000 scholarship to be used post high school.”

The FRS Youth Tour is an all-expense paid trip that brings together students representing rural telecommunication providers from across the United States to learn more about broadband applications in rural communities. Attendees tour famous historical sites and monuments, meet with representatives from the Federal Communications Commission as well as staff and members of Congress from the attendee’s congressional district. Students also attend sessions focused on developing leadership skills.

To be eligible for the tour, an applicant must be in high school and age 16 or 17 at the time of the tour. The applicant must also have a parent or legal guardian who is an active member of GRM Networks. Lester and Webb will receive their scholarships upon completion of their first college semester and proof of maintaining at least a 2.0 grade point average.

Lester and Webb are both juniors in high school. Lester attends Linn County R-I and is the daughter of Shayla Gerlt and Jeremiah Lester. Webb is the daughter of Michael and Jessica Webb and attends Grundy R-V.