Katie Dyson, student at Albia Community School and Tonia Medina, student at Wayne Community School, recently participated in the electric cooperative youth tour of Washington, D.C., sponsored by Chariton Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. Kiley Vinyard of Bloomfield and Jacinta Wenke of Douds, recently participated in the electric cooperative youth tour of Washington, D.C., sponsored by Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative. The four spent June 13-19 in Washington, D.C., with 33 peers from Iowa.
Vinyard and Wenke had an experience of a lifetime.
“The youth tour was so amazing,” Vinyard said. “It was really cool to meet my senator and representative, and learn about politics up-close. Plus, I made friends from nearly every state and experienced history first-hand.”
Each year in June, an action-filled week provides high school students opportunities to learn first-hand what it is like to be involved in politics, community service and today’s pressing issues in the energy industry. Students met their elected representatives in the U.S. House and Senate, saw historic sites, and met nearly 1,600 students from across the country who participated in their state’s Youth Tour program.
The electric cooperative youth tour has been a joint effort of local electric co-ops, such as Chariton Valley Electric Cooperative and SIEC their statewide co-op associations, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, based in Arlington, Va., for 50 years.
In addition to taking in the sights of the nation’s capital, all the state groups convened for the Rural Electric Youth Day, sponsored by NRECA, to learn from public figures and other inspirational speakers. This year’s Youth Day agenda included Mike Schlappi, a four-time Paralympic Medallist and two-time world Wheelchair Basketball champion. Schlappi shares his inspiring message for every American, young or old: “Just because you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out.”