November 2020 | Laura & Scholarships

Team SEMO Helping in LA
Call a friend to say hello, vote and mail a thank you note to a Veteran. Let’s be grateful.

by Sean J. Vanslyke -

COVID-19 continues to linger and change the way we live, work, learn and play. My wife Debbie and I miss seeing our daughter and her family in Seattle, Washington. We miss hugging our grandchildren. However, we have friends who have children in Asia and only got to see their grandchildren once a year – if they are lucky – before the contagion. Perspective helps.

As we push forward, we know uncertainty is the new normal. Our parents and grandparents told us only taxes and death are guaranteed. Pandemics change history. The future will include a COVID-19 vaccine. Facemasks may never go away. We hope respect for essential workers will always be given. Let’s keep doing our part to make a strange situation better. During the next few weeks, take the opportunity to call a friend to say hello, exercise your freedom to vote and mail a thank you note to a Veteran. Let’s be grateful.

Thank you to our eight linemen who traveled to DeRitter, Louisiana, to help restore power after Hurricane Laura. It was a blessing to have them return safe to their families. Thank you to the linemen’s families and the rest of Team SEMO who stayed home to keep the lights on and fiber flowing in southeast Missouri.

For high school seniors wishing for a scholarship to attend a college or a technical school in the fall of 2021, the application period is open until January 8, 2021. Applications are available from area high school counselors or online at

During the summer, more than 100 students were each awarded a $700 scholarship thanks to a little change from SEMO Electric member-owners who participate in Operation Round-Up. Operation Round-Up is a program that rounds up a member's bill to the nearest dollar each month. Thank you for helping make people’s lives – especially young adults – lives better. A little change makes a big difference.

Book of the Month: "The dark serves as an opportunity to sharpen your character and skill set. It’s only in the dark, in the toughest of storms, that the best sailors are built. Smooth seas and bright skies don’t build the best. Only adversity can do that.” Joshua Medcalf – WIN IN THE DARK

Be smart. Act safe.


Vanslyke is general manager and chief executive officer of SEMO Electric Cooperative. In the photo, four of Team SEMO's linemen with a Beauregard Electric Cooperative lineman in DeRidder, Louisiana, after Hurricane Laura.