First Wind Scholars Program Awards 16 Scholarship Grants in 2013

Boston, Mass. – First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, announced that students from sixteen high schools across the country will be awarded scholarships through the company’s signature First Wind Scholars program.  The 2013 recipients were selected from a record number of applicants and represented project host communities in Hawaii, Maine, New York, Utah, Vermont and Washington.  A total of $65,000 in scholarship dollars will be committed.

The First Wind Scholars program, now in its fourth year, offers one-time, $3,000 college scholarships to high school seniors in communities where the company has a project in operation, construction or in an advanced stage of development.  Students must display strong potential for a successful post-secondary experience, as well as interest in pursuing studies focused on the environment, energy or the sciences.  One $5,000 scholarship, renewable for four years, is awarded to a stand-out applicant from the competitive pool.  This year’s recipient of the cumulative $20,000 scholarship is Rysen Otomo from Wailuku, Hawaii, near the Kaheawa Wind project.  Rysen plans to attend Stanford University in the fall.

“Our scholarship award program has gained momentum over the years and this year we couldn¹t be happier to have received a record number of applications from exceptional high school students in the communities where we develop and operate wind projects,”  said Carol Grant, Senior Vice President of External Affairs for First Wind.  “This is truly an investment in our future and we look forward to seeing the advancements made by these future energy, environment, science and technology leaders.”

First Wind owns and operates three projects in Hawaii.  This year’s recipients from Hawaii include the following four students:

  • Sarina Kong of Kahului attended Kamehameha Schools Maui and is enrolled at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA where she will pursue a degree in Biology.  She lives near the Kaheawa Wind I & II project.
  • Rysen Otomo from Wailuku and a graduate of Baldwin High School, will receive the First Wind Scholars renewable $5,000 award to pursue a degree in Engineering from Stanford University.  Rysen also lives near the Kaheawa Wind I & II projects.
  • Kamakani Richeson, a graduate of Kahuku High School, has been accepted to Santa Monica College where she will study Environmental Science.  She resides near the Kahuku Wind project.
  • Theresa Tasani of Wahiawa, a student of Leilehua High School, will attend University of Hawaii at Manoa and will major in Biology.  She lives near the Kawailoa Wind project.


First Wind owns and operates five projects in Maine. The company is developing additional projects in the state, including a project in Oakfield.  As part of the 2013 program, First Wind awarded scholarships to five Maine high school seniors:

  • Brandon Bourgoin of Lee, a graduate of Lee Academy, will attend the University of Maine as a Biology major.  Brandon lives near the Rollins Wind project.
  • Kayla Cushman of Mars Hill, who is a graduate of Central Aroostook High School, will attend Ohio State University where she will major in Biology.  She lives near the Mars Hill project.
  • Savannah Jackson of Fletchers Landing Township and a graduate of Ellsworth High School will attend the University of New England in Biddeford, ME as a Biology major.  She lives near the Bull Hill project.
  • Devon Logie of Linneus, who attended Hodgdon High School, has enrolled at the University of Maine and plans to study Engineering.  Devon lives near the planned Oakfield Wind project.
  • Emily Massey of Danforth, a graduate of East Grand High School, will study Medical Radiography at Eastern Maine Community College.  Emily lives near the Stetson Wind project.


New York
First Wind owns and operates three projects in New York.  In 2013, the following two New York students will receive scholarships:

  • Kali Covert of Wayland, who attended Wayland-Cohocton High School, will study Mechanical Engineering at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY.  Kali lives near the Cohocton Wind project.
  • Brittany Packard of Lackawanna, a Lackawanna High School graduate, will attend SUNY University at Buffalo in the fall where she will study Civil Engineering.  Brittany lives near the Steel Winds I & II projects.


The 306 MW Milford Wind I and II projects in Beaver and Millard counties is Utah’s largest utility-scale operating wind farm.  Two high school seniors from the state will receive scholarship awards this year:

  • Cintya Rodriguez of Milford, who attended Milford High School, plans to study Nursing at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, UT. 
  • Tanner Gale of Beaver, a graduate of Beaver High School, will also attend Southern Utah University and will major in Science.  Tanner will start at Southern Utah in the 2014-2015 school year.


One student from Vermont, the home of the 40 MW Sheffield Wind in the Northeast Kingdom, has also received a First Wind Scholars award.  Newark resident Kyle Piette, a graduate of The Lyndon Institute, is planning to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering.

First Wind operates the 105 MW Palouse Wind project located in Whitman County.  In 2013, the following two Washington students will be recipients of scholarships:

  • Tyler Mundt of Rosalia, a Rosalia High School graduate, will attend the University of Washington in the fall where he will study Engineering. 
  • Kayler Dub, of Farmington, who attended Tekoa High School, will attend Carroll College and will pursue a degree in Nursing. 


The First Wind Scholars program was started in 2009 as a way to support college-bound high school seniors in the communities where the company has projects in operation or in an advanced stage of development.  The awards support exceptional high school students who plan to pursue studies on the environment, energy or the sciences.  The program has grown each year and scholarships have been awarded to 60 students totaling more than $250,000.

For more information on First Wind, visit or follow them on Twitter @FirstWind.

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