Story update: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour was cancelled by NRECA. 4 Rivers Electric has made a provision for our 2020 winners to receive a scholarship to further their education after their high school graduation.
March, 7, 2020: 4 Rivers Electric is pleased to announce the winners of the cooperative essay contest “Beneficial Electricity”—Penner Fox and Dillon Steele, juniors at Fredonia High School, and John Howard, junior at Burlington High School. These three students will represent our cooperative in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Electric Cooperative Youth Tour this summer.
Every year, electric cooperatives across the nation select area students as their representatives in Youth Tour hosted in our nation’s capital for a week. Over 1,800 students from 45 states will be attending the Youth Tour, June 18-25, 2020, where our student representatives will join 35 other Kansas co-op youth who also travel with a four-student delegation from Hawaii. 2020 marks Kansas’ 60th year in the Youth Tour program.
Student delegates will have the opportunity to visit the monuments and memorials at the National Mall, meet our state’s US senators and congressional representatives, as well as tour Capitol Hill to learn more about how our government works, leadership and the co-op industry.
“I’m beyond excited to be chosen to participate in the Youth Tour and am looking forward to the trip this summer. I can’t wait to make new friends while continuing my education and spending a week in our nation’s capital. I deeply appreciate 4 Rivers giving us students this opportunity!” says Dillon Steele, son of cooperative members Shala and Kevan Steele.
Before flying to D.C., these delegates will get the opportunity to tour the Kansas State Capitol and FreeState Electric Cooperative in Topeka. While touring D.C., they will have the opportunity to visit several sites including the White House, the U.S. Capitol, Ford’s Theater, the National Cathedral, Arlington National Cemetery, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Archives, the National Aquarium, the Law Enforcement Museum, Fort McHenry, and the Smithsonian museums.
Penner Fox, daughter of members Angela and Seth Fox, also applied for the Youth Leadership Council to represent Kansas. One student from each state is selected by NRECA to come back to Washington, D.C., in July for a leadership workshop which will focus on the electric cooperative industry.
“4 Rivers Electric Cooperative believes in investing in our youth because we are creating the leaders of tomorrow,” says General Manager Dennis Svanes. “4 Rivers Electric looks to our youth to carry the knowledge they learn and advocate for the rural communities when they return to their hometown or when they move away.”