Students visit D.C. on electric cooperative youth tour

Published 4:44 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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Approximately 1,800 high school students gathered in Washington, D.C., from June 15-21 as delegates to the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Forty-one students from North Carolina, including three local delegates sponsored by Union Power Cooperative, participated in a week-long opportunity.
Evan Keith of Union County, Sarah Hinson of Stanly County and Felicia Charles of Cabarrus County were selected as delegates by Union Power to attend the tour after completing an application and interview.
On the Youth Tour, students participated in leadership training and one-on-one conversations with elected officials, jumpstarted their national peer network, learned about electric cooperatives, and toured D.C.’s historical monuments and museums.
“Our Youth Tourists explored D.C. with confidence and curiosity, which was great to see,” said Emily Aldridge, communications/public relations specialist. “The Youth Tour emphasizes the importance of civic engagement and how politics influences our everyday lives. We hope that the knowledge and skills acquired by the delegates during this trip will benefit them on their journey to success and help them become our next great leaders while also helping them understand the significance of American history.”
During the seven-day tour, students learned about the history of the United States at the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and many of the Smithsonian museums. The delegates paid their respects to soldiers who lost their lives in service to the nation at Arlington National Cemetery. They also visited the Holocaust Museum, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Additionally, they had the opportunity to interact with members of Congress, senators and legislative staff by asking them questions and understanding their role at the Capitol.
For 60 years, America’s electric cooperatives have brought students together from communities across America to build connections and practice leadership at the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Nearly 50,000 students from rural areas and small towns across America have participated in this program.