Lauren Kinman of Chipley and Seth Alday of Altha were among nearly 1,700 high school students from 43 states who participated in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour held June 11-16, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Kinman and Alday were sponsored by West Florida Electric Cooperative (WFEC) and represented Chipley High School (Kinman) and Altha School (Alday).
While in Washington, they learned first-hand what it’s like to be involved in politics, how our government operates and about how and why electric co-ops were formed. One highlight of the trip included meeting their elected representatives in the U.S. House and Senate. They toured Arlington National Cemetery, the Capitol, and Mount Vernon. Students also visited various museums, monuments and memorials including the Viet Nam, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and more. While in D.C., they also enjoyed the U.S. Marine Corps Band Sunset Parade.
In 1964, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) began coordinating activities among state delegations and suggested that co-op representatives from each state arrange to be in Washington, D.C. during Youth Tour week. As word spread, the program grew to what it is today. WFEC has participated in the Youth Tour program since 1979, sending two students to Washington, D.C. each year since.
The Youth Tour program is open to all high school juniors whose parents or guardians are members of West Florida Electric Cooperative. Each high school within WFEC’s service area selects a representative for the State Youth Tour in the fall of each year. The selected representatives then go on to compete for the two slots available for the National Youth Tour. This year, a scholarship opportunity was added to the Youth Tour program. One $4,000 scholarship to Chipola College was awarded to a participant from each county served by WFEC. If you will be a junior during the 2016-2017 school year, see your school’s guidance counselor for more information about the Youth Tour or contact WFEC Youth Tour Coordinator, Candace Croft at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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