Youth Tour delegates and chaperones visiting Capitol Hill (L-R) back row: SEC Chaperone Jacob McCann, Virginia Anderson, Jared Hensley, Nathan Simpson, Connor Stimpert, Skyler Byerly, SEC Chaperone Mark Thomas. Front row: Jamie Holt, Claire Watson, Caylor Scales.
CREWE, Va – Eight rising high school seniors representing Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) recently joined 1,800 other students from across America for a week in Washington, D.C., for the annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.
Participating from SEC’s service area were Virginia Anderson, a homeschool student from Powhatan, Skyler Byerly of Jefferson Forest High School, Jared Hensley of Amelia County High School, Jamie Holt of Rustburg High School, Caylor Scales of Cumberland County High School, Connor Stimpert of Prince Edward County High School, Nathan Simpson of Appomattox County High School and Claire Watson of Fuqua School.
Together with SEC chaperones, they spent June 11-15 touring the nation’s capital and learning how critical it is to become involved in the legislative process and in their local communities.
“Youth Tour was an opportunity for fun, growth and meeting new people. I can honestly say I know about myself and where I stand now since I have been a part of the program. While the excursions we went on were quite enjoyable, my favorite thing was just getting to know the other students I was with on the trip. I still keep up with them today!” Watson said.
Added Byerly, “Being with the people I met on the Youth Tour helped me grow as a person and made me
appreciate the world and country that I live in. This was truly the best experience of my life, and I encourage anyone who can to apply for it.”
SEC students explored key issues in the electric industry, learned about the cooperative business model and interacted with others in team-building activities. The students toured the U.S. Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, Library of Congress, Newseum, National Museum of African American History & Culture, Mount Vernon and the monuments on the National Mall. They enjoyed an evening cruise on the Potomac River, attended a Washington Nationals game and saw a performance of “The Sound of Music” at the Kennedy Center.
Youth Tour was inspired by Sen. Lyndon Baines Johnson when he addressed the NRECA annual meeting in 1957. The Texas senator and future president said, “If one thing goes out of this meeting, it will be sending youngsters to the national capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.” Since 1964, America’s electric cooperatives have sponsored 65,000 high school students to visit Washington, D.C.
For more information about Youth Tour, visit www.sec.coop/youthtour. To learn about participating in 2018, contact Mark Thomas at email@example.com.
Southside Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative that serves over 55,000 homes and businesses in portions of 18 counties in central and southern Virginia. Headquartered in Crewe, SEC has district offices in Altavista, Crewe, Dinwiddie and Powhatan.