IECA Youth Tour Delegates Head to Washington, DC – The Licking News
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IECA Youth Tour Delegates Head to Washington, DC – The Licking News

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From left: Audrey Bell, Summersville; Destiny Evans, Plato; Khloe Baldwin, Salem; Mohamed Algraiw, Rolla; Cooper Hoerning, Mtn. Grove; Gideon Warneke, Cabool; Kristen Ely, Houston; Cat Lillis, St. James; and Nicole Paolella, Licking.

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From left: Sadie Lampe, Branson, and Ralee Clayton, Licking, were sponsored by AMEC, which has its own contest for children of electric cooperative employees across the state because they don’t qualify for the regular essay contest. AMEC is choosing two students to go to D.C. and two to go to Jefferson City.

IECA

One hundred and two high school students participated in the 61st annual Missouri Electric Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., June 14-20. Local delegates were Audrey Bell, Summersville; Destiny Evans, Plato; Khloe Baldwin, Salem; Mohamed Algraiw, Rolla; Cooper Hoerning, Mtn. Grove; Gideon Warneke, Cabool; Kristen Ely, Houston; Cat Lillis, St. James; and Nicole Paolella, Licking. They were sponsored by Intercounty Electric Cooperative. Ralee Clayton, Licking, also participated and was sponsored by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC).

The Missouri Electric Cooperative Youth Tour recently returned from Washington, D.C. The seven-day tour was a fun-filled week for high school students who got to experience what it’s like to be involved in politics, serve in leadership roles, volunteer, and address today’s pressing issues.

“The Youth Tour is the highlight of the summer for many students, and we are proud to send our best and brightest to our nation’s capital to participate,” said Chris Massman, vice president of member services for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Massman also said, “Every one of these delegates will meet someone or see something that will inspire them and, in some cases, create a path to a future career.”

Highlights of the trip included visits by the Missouri delegates to their congressional district representatives and tours of historic sites, the Smithsonian Institution, Arlington National Cemetery and the International Spy Museum. The group also took a cruise and dance on the Potomac River one evening with delegates from five other states.

Other events of the week included participation in Electric Youth Day, where a special program coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association brought together more than 2,000 Youth Tour delegates from across the United States. Delegates heard keynote addresses from government leaders and motivational speakers such as Mike Schlappi, an inspiring four-time Paralympic medalist and two-time wheelchair basketball world champion.

Since 1964, the nation’s electric cooperatives have sponsored more than 58,000 high school students ages three to four to visit U.S. congressional delegations, attend educational sessions on energy and grassroots government, and tour Washington, D.C. For more information about the Missouri Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, visit www.moyouthtour.com.