High school students from across North Carolina joined their peers from around the country at this year’s Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., which took place in-person for the first time since 2019. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives sent 30 Youth Tour delegates to the capital to learn about American history, U.S. government and the electric cooperative business model. During the June 18-24, students also explored famous attractions like the National Mall and Washington National Cathedral, while forming meaningful connections and gaining valuable knowledge on co-op structures and processes. For over 50 years, the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has provided young people with an exceptional opportunity to expand their knowledge and experiences while creating lasting memories.
Youth Tour delegates arrive on Capitol Hill.
One significant moment students had on Youth Tour was the opportunity to represent North Carolina’s electric cooperatives on Capitol Hill while meeting members of the North Carolina congressional delegation. Students were able to gain valuable perspectives from representatives and members of Congress, and they had the chance to learn about government processes straight from the source. Besides visiting landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, delegates were able to explore Old Town Alexandria and make connections at social events like the NC Youth Tour bowling night.
Youth Tour delegates from North Carolina can apply for several college scholarships, and can also compete to represent their state and electric cooperative on the Youth Leadership Council (YLC). YLC is a national cooperative program that brings together the country’s brightest youth to develop leadership and advocacy skills. This year’s representative, Madeline Hiteshue, who was sponsored by EnergyUnited, was selected by her peers after each candidate made a speech. Regardless of what students pursue after this summer, Youth Tour is an opportunity for North Carolina students to gain new skills, meet new people and continue to grow their passion for learning.
Delegates visit with Rep. Kathy Manning in the Capitol.
For more information about Youth Tour and other ways North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are supporting communities, visit https://www.ncelectriccooperatives.com/community/