A Word from Our CEO - Youth Tour 2013
The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour: A commitment to the community
Each year, starting in February, Craighead Electric Cooperative begins taking applications for the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington. We spread the word through Arkansas Living magazine and in the schools. And best of all, Youth Tour alumni tell their friends about this amazing opportunity.
Arkansas’ electric cooperatives began sponsoring the tour in 1990. Since then, hundreds of young Arkansans have gone on this trip and been inspired by the sites they see. They learn about the sacrifices others have made and what it truly means to be an American. They get to walk the grounds where George Washington walked. They view the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. They walk the halls of the Capitol where the nation’s laws are crafted. They make new friends and dream new dreams.
Many students believe it will be too hard to win this trip or that it will take too much effort to write an essay or sit for an interview. Some are encouraged to apply by their teachers while others learn about it from their parents or grandparents who see it in the magazine. Many say they almost didn’t try. But ask any past Youth Tour winner and they will inevitably say they are glad they did. It is truly a trip of a lifetime.
During the tour, the group visits historic sites such as Mount Vernon, the World War II Memorial, the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the National Cathedral, the various museums of the Smithsonian Institution, the Newseum, which chronicles the history of the press, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, among other sites. They also often visit with members of the Arkansas Congressional Delegation.
While on the tour, the Arkansas group also meets students from 44 other states who are also on the tour. Electric cooperatives from these states sponsor students just as we do. In addition, one student will be selected from each state to serve on the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which represents electric cooperatives across the nation and coordinates the Youth Tour. As the YLC representative, the student will return to Washington on July 20-24 for a special leadership building program. In February 2014, the YLC representative will attend the NRECA annual meeting.
By sponsoring the Youth Tour, Craighead Electric Cooperative is providing opportunities to help our youth grow and learn. By doing this, we are working to fulfill one of the “Seven Cooperative Principles” that guide our member-owned business – commitment to community. Just as we have helped build the state by providing affordable and reliable energy for more than seven decades, we are working to help build leaders for tomorrow. And we believe that is a very good commitment and investment to make. (For more information Click here.)
Craighead Electric Cooperative