Claire Dupruis of Burlington and Dayton Elliott of West Burlington recently participated in the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour program in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Access Energy Cooperative They spent six days at our nation’s Capitol with 33 peers from Iowa.
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 Access Energy Cooperative, their statewide co-op associations such as the Iowa Association for Electric Cooperatives (IAEC), and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), based in Arlington, Va., for 48 years.
“I have learned so much about this great country and have also made a few amazing friends along the way,” said Elliott.
In addition to taking in the sights of the nation’s capital, all the state groups convened for National 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 Champion 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.”
For more information on how you can participate in Access Energy Coperative’s Youth Tour program, visit our website at www.accessenergycoop.com. Applications for next year’s trip will be available in December.
Since 1964, the nation’s cooperative electric utilities have sponsored more than 50,000 high school juniors and seniors for visits to their U.S. congressional delegations, energy and grassroots government education sessions, and sightseeing in Washington. NRECA is the national service organization representing the nation’s more than 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, which provide electric service to 42 million people in 47 states.