After two years of virtual tours, the Youth Tour headed back to Washington this year. The seven-day tour provides an action-filled week for high school students, offering them opportunities to learn firsthand what it is like to be involved in politics, leadership positions, community service and today’s pressing issues.
“The Youth Tour is the highlight of the summer for many students and we’re 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.
Highlights of the trip include the young people visiting with representatives from their congressional districts, touring monuments, the Smithsonian Institution’s museums, Arlington National Cemetery and for the first time, touring the International Spy Museum. The group also took a sightseeing and dance cruise on the Potomac River one evening.
Other events of the week included participation in the Electric Youth Day, during which a special program coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association brought together over 1,000 Youth Tour delegates from across the United States. The delegates enjoyed featured speeches by government leaders and motivational speakers, such as Mike Schlappi, an inspiring four-time Paralympic medalist and two-time world wheelchair basketball champion.
Each year one delegate is chosen to represent Missouri on the NRECA Youth Leadership Council. This year, Missouri’s YLC representative is Lauren Bailey from Osage Valley Electric Cooperative.
Lauren will participate in a virtual YLC conference with the other delegates from each state. She will also have the opportunity to attend the NRECA Annual Meeting in Nashville.
Since 1964, the nation’s cooperative electric utilities have sponsored more than 55,000 high school juniors and seniors for visits to their U.S. congressional delegations, energy and grassroots government education sessions and sightseeing in Washington. For more information about the AMEC Youth Tour program, please go to www.moyouthtour.com.