What is Your Kid Doing Next Summer?
In 2002, an adventurous student from our service territory by the name of Melissa Hibbard submitted an entry in an essay contest sponsored by the Montana Electric Cooperative Association (MECA). The topic was “America in Crisis: Where Do We Go from Here.” At stake was a chance to win one of two all-expense paid trips to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Tour.
Back then, Vigilante Electric did not participate in sending students to the Youth Tour. Melissa took it upon herself to enter and her essay finished second. After returning from Washington, D.C., we invited her to do a presentation for our board of trustees. Her presentation was great, and our board of trustees committed to sponsoring participants from our service territory.
This past summer, we were fortunate to have three outstanding young ladies represent us on this tour, two of which had stories and pictures featured in last month’s edition of this publication. While words cannot adequately describe the impact this has had on the lives of our participants, here are their words their experience this summer.
“I could go on and on about this trip and never truly express how grateful I am to have been a part of this amazing opportunity to tour our nation’s capital. It was really a once in a lifetime experience.”
Harleigh Johnson, Beaverhead Co High School- 2017 Youth Leadership Council Representative for Montana
“I wouldn't hesitate to tell anyone who hasn't been to Washington, D.C. to apply for the trip and see all the wonderful things our capital has to offer. I saw many cool things, and made many lifelong friends. I'll never forget the way this trip has shaped me.”
Larkin Voss, Beaverhead Co High School
During this week-long event participants tour Washington D.C. and experience the history enshrined there. They visit with their state’s congressional delegation, and participate in youth rallies and socials. The 2017 Youth Tour was attended by over 1,700 students and 250 chaperones from 46 states. I was privileged to have been a chaperone in 2004 and I can honestly say that the scope of this event is remarkable.
The Youth Tour to Washington D.C. dates for 2018 have been set for June 9th through the 15th. To be eligible the student’s parent or guardian must be a member of Vigilante Electric Cooperative. The student must currently be a sophomore or junior in high school and cannot have been a prior winner.
Participants are selected based on an application and essay. This year’s essay topic is “Electric cooperatives offer various opportunities to young people, such as scholarships, job shadowing, electrical safety programs and sponsorships. What are some innovative ways your electric cooperative can connect with young people, especially with children and teens?”
The applications and essays are due to Vigilante Electric by December 1, 2017. For more information use the links below, then take a moment and watch the Youth Tour video.